Rams Rumors: Jets & Other Teams Inquired On Matthew Stafford This Offseason But L.A. Refused To Trade Him
Rams, Matthew Stafford
Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford waves at the crowd as he exits the field after the Lions’ 28-19 loss to the Rams on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021, in Inglewood, California.

Despite being a year removed from winning the Super Bowl, the Los Angeles Rams went in a different direction this offseason, subtracting some key veterans from their roster.

The Rams aren’t calling it a rebuild, but there’s no denying that they will likely again take a step back this season after losing guys like Jalen Ramsey, Leonard Floyd and Bobby Wagner.

The reason the Rams aren’t calling it a full rebuild though is because they still have some core pieces in place such as Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp and Aaron Donald to go along with a lot of cap space and all of their draft picks next offseason.

If the Rams wanted to go into a full rebuild, it appears that option was there for them as according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the New York Jets called the Rams about Stafford before going on to acquire Aaron Rodgers:

Aaron Rodgers being the starting quarterback for the Jets is easily one of the biggest storylines not just of the 2023 season, but also of the last few years. Had the story taken a different turn, however, New York could have had a different signal-caller under center Monday night against the Bills.

Sources say that when the Jets’ pursuit of Rodgers lagged — due to lack of clarity on what Rodgers wanted and pre-darkness retreat concerns about whether he would even play in 2023 — the Jets called the Rams to see if Matthew Stafford would be available in a trade. Talks between New York and Los Angeles were brief, simple and to the point.

As two sources explained, the Rams were adamant Stafford wasn’t going anywhere. The talks between the two teams were more exploratory than anything else with L.A. showing no willingness to do a deal, but the Jets didn’t want to leave a stone unturned in their quest for a franchise QB.

When it was announced that Rams head coach Sean McVay would return for another season, the plan was always for Stafford to return, as well. In fact, Stafford comes back with an increase in arm strength and is now healthier than he was last season.

According to Rapoport, it wasn’t just the Jets that reached out to the Rams about Stafford:

But that didn’t stop teams from calling the Rams about Stafford. Sources say it wasn’t just the Jets who reached out, as several other QB-needy teams called to inquire on Stafford’s and a few other Rams stars’ availability when people around the league wondered if Los Angeles was in sell-mode.

There had been previous rumblings on Stafford this past offseason, although nothing as substantial as this.

While the Rams have publicly supported Stafford as their starting quarterback every step of the way, many assumed that was because they were unable to trade him. As it turns out, the Rams never wanted to deal Stafford all along and want him to continue being their quarterback.

It remains to be seen how the 2023 season will play out for Stafford and the Rams, but if he is healthy then the team could be back in the mix for a postseason stop regardless of all of the other players they lost.

If the Rams continue to struggle though then Stafford trade talks may be revisited next offseason.