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Matthew Stafford Rams
NFL

Should Rams Be Prepared For Matthew Stafford To Retire?

  • Justin Melo
  • November 22, 2022
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The defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams are enduring a difficult season. It’s been an especially tricky campaign for quarterback Matthew Stafford, who is taking a beating behind a turnstile offensive line. Stafford has suffered elbow and head injuries this season. Rams general manager Les Snead should be prepared for Stafford to consider retirement this offseason, according to reports.

“I don’t know what his (Matthew Stafford) decision is going to be,” NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport recently said on The Pat McAfee show. “I think he will be back, but I don’t know. I think the health of the team overall goes into it.”

The 3-7 Rams have suffered four consecutive defeats. They’re swiftly heading toward a wasteful season. An aging Stafford could begin pondering his uncertain future as a result—especially after suffering two concussions in a short period of time.

Snead must begin exploring quarterback possibilities behind the scenes. Drafting a young signal-caller will almost be impossible given the Rams’ penchant for trading picks. The Rams’ first-round selection in the 2023 NFL Draft belongs to the Detroit Lions, ironically as a result of the original Stafford trade. That eliminates the Rams from drafting a premier quarterback prospect like C.J. Stroud, Bryce Young, or Will Levis

The Rams don’t possess the capital necessary to realistically trade back into the top half of the first round either. The Rams do own their original second and third-round selections. Snead may possess an interest in drafting a second-tier quarterback prospect such as Anthony Richardson or Hendon Hooker, who are the No. 34 and 66 overall prospects in our latest TDN100 update.

The Rams are scheduled to have their first five-round selections in the 2024 NFL Draft. A lack of high-end 2023 draft capital limits the Rams’ immediate options, however. Waiting to utilize their first-round pick on a quarterback in 2024 remains a distinct possibility. That would require them to roster a bridge-type QB in 2023.

Snead’s aggressive demeanor indicates he may possess more interest in trading for or signing a veteran quarterback as opposed to drafting a signal-caller and fully embracing a rebuilding period. Snead’s Rams may continue to reload as opposed to starting from scratch. It’s just the Rams way.

The list of veteran quarterbacks that may be available this offseason is lengthy and intriguing. The likes of Tom Brady, Geno Smith, and Jimmy Garoppolo are currently set for unrestricted free agency. Smith should end up back in Seattle, but Brady and Garoppolo should play elsewhere next season. Garoppolo, who’s had an immense amount of success against the Rams in recent years, and runs a similar offensive system in San Francisco, could emerge as a potentially interesting name. 

In addition to those scheduled free agents, Aaron Rodgers, Derek Carr, and Carson Wentz headline a group of quarterbacks that could be traded. It’s worth acknowledging the Rams aren’t in an excellent position financially. They’re scheduled to be approximately $1.5 million over the 2023 cap, per Spotrac. They’d also inherit a sizable dead cap hit by Stafford retiring. But Snead has worked salary cap-related magic before.

The soon-to-be-35-year-old may consider retirement. The Rams’ Super Bowl window is slamming shut right before our eyes, adding incentive to call it quits. Snead should be mentally prepared for Matthew Stafford to retire.

Written By

Justin Melo