III - Matt Lombardi: LA Rams feverishly tried to trade Matthew Stafford
Sports Illustrated Jeff Smith cites NFL rumors that sprang from former NFL executive Mike Lombardi on The Pat McAfee Show that the Rams tried hard to trade Matthew Stafford. We cited that conversation earlier under honorable mentions, but this time Lombardi pivoted to future speculation to speculation about the LA Rams' past.
Here is that segment of the interview, which seemed to involve a lot of hemming and hawing about fictional accounting of the LA Rams attempts to clear salary cap space. It's tough to give this one a free pass because, well, history is written and the LA Rams did not trade Matthew Stafford.
The LA Rams 'tried' to trade Matthew Stafford? Or was it merely a matter of those harmless GM to GM conversations where another NFL team sought to determine what it would cost to acquire Matthew Stafford via a trade?
Without any substance, potential trade partner, or any pertinent data, this is about as verifiable as NFL rumors that are based on 'unnamed sources.' If the subject came up at all, and I am not even certain that it did, what exactly constitutes the 'Rams attempted with a lot of effort to move Matthew Stafford,' anyway? When confronted by Pat McAfee as to whether he has direct knowledge of events or whether this was 'they should have,' speculation, Lombardi side-steps the question completely.
Why Rams would try this?
No clue. At the time of the suggested trade discussions, the Rams would have been attempting to get out from under a burdensome guaranteed salary kicker, but now, in July 2023, any trade of Stafford now will result in salary cap savings (as per Over The Cap.com)
Why Rams wouldn't try this?
Um, because without Matthew Stafford, the LA Rams would have zero quarterbacks on the roster. Nada. Zilch. I may be a novice to the complexities of the NFL, and what it takes to be a successful NFL General Manager, but if Mike Lombardi is trying to sell the tall tale of the Rams worked hard to trade their last remaining quarterback on the roster with a straight face? I can see why Lombardi is no longer an NFL GM
Grade the Trade: D-
The guy is a former NFL GM, so I graded on the curve for this one. But the entire plot has more holes than a block of Swiss cheese. There is no trade partner, there is no compensation, and there is no trail to follow. Is Mike Lombardi so plugged into the LA Rams operations that he knows what the team's strategy is in real-time? Unnamed sources tell me no. How do you grade this scenario?