Rams: Does Tom Brady’s retirement impact Matthew Stafford?
By Bret Stuter
Does Brady impact Stafford?
Matthew Stafford is on a multi-year contract to play for the LA Rams. He is currently 35 years old, and in the history of the NFL, that is quite the age for a player to continue starting at quarterback. Things have changed along the way in the NFL, and much of that is thanks to Tom Brady. What do I mean?
Brady has ultimately retired at the age of 45 years old, ten years Stafford’s senior. In many ways, Brady saved his best for last. He won a Super Bowl at the age of 43. He set his career high in passing yards, 5,316 yards, at the age of 44. And the best three-year period of his NFL career is arguably his last three seasons.
The was no shortage of NFL teams interested in signing Tom Brady as a free agent in this off-season before he announced his retirement. Brady was a technician in the pocket, a quarterback who was as knowledgeable and experienced as they come, and in many cases, more knowledgeable than many of the offensive coaches on staff. That set a pretty high bar.
Stafford to follow suit?
Just one year after Brady signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as an NFL Free Agent and led them instantly to a Super Bowl victory, the LA Rams traded for QB Matthew Stafford who essentially did the same thing. Brady had long made it an almost annual tradition for every team he played on to make the playoffs. And he won seven Super Bowl rings over the course of his career.
Stafford has just one Super Bowl Ring, but it’s the most recent one awarded. And four of Brady’s Super Bowl victories: 2015 (38), 2017 (40), 2019 (42), and 2021 (44) all occured after he had turned 35. Stafford is only 35 now. In essence, Brady’s ability to win games, both in the regular season and in the NFL Playoffs, paved the way for Matthew Stafford to continue to compete well into his own career.
Best of all, the nefarious drop-off in production that is the bane of every seasoned NFL player simply failed to materialize for Brady. Like an antique or fine wine, Brady got better with age it seems. That is not to say that Matthew Stafford will do exactly the same. Still, it proves that it can happen.
The LA Rams trade for Matthew Stafford has already accomplished its purpose. The LA Rams hoisted the Lombardi Trophy for the city of Los Angeles, California, for the first time in the history of the franchise. Now, the Rams have the opportunity to reap bonus dividends. Can they? I think all of the core pieces remain in place to do exactly that. And thanks to Brady, the LA Rams know that winning with a veteran NFL QB is a long-lasting endeavor.