Report: Matthew Stafford nixed trade to Panthers

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The Carolina Panthers nearly acquired Matthew Stafford from the Detroit Lions before the veteran quarterback stepped in and told his former team he wanted to play for the Los Angeles Rams, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

The Panthers were aggressive in their pursuit to land Stafford in January, offering the Lions a first-round pick and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. Many involved in trade discussions thought Carolina would eventually land Stafford, Rapoport adds. 

Stafford’s choices for a trade included the Rams, Indianapolis Colts and San Francisco 49ers. After consulting with his family, he made it clear to the Lions he wanted to play in Los Angeles when talks with the Panthers heated up. 

The Rams eventually sent Jared Goff and two first-round picks to Detroit in exchange for Stafford. Other offers for Stafford included several high draft picks from the Colts, Denver Broncos and Washington Football Team. 

According to Rapoport, the Chicago Bears and 49ers were also in the mix for the veteran, but San Francisco never made a formal offer. Stafford likely would’ve blocked any deal that didn’t send him to the Rams, Rapoport adds.

The 33-year-old is set to make his Los Angeles debut Sunday night against the Bears. 

Carolina, meanwhile, is set to start Sam Darnold after acquiring him in a trade with the New York Jets this offseason. 



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