The Los Angeles Rams reportedly tried to trade quarterback Matthew Stafford last season, just months removed from their Super Bowl victory, former NFL executive Michael Lombardi revealed during a recent appearance on the Pat McAfee Show.
“When his option bonus was getting ready to kick in, they attempted, with a lot of effort, to trade him—any team could have had him,” Lombardi said last Friday (July 7).
The Rams, instead, exercised Stafford's 2023 option bonus and 2024 salary this offseason, ensuring his return to the team. Stafford will make a combined $62 million in guaranteed money as part of the agreement, which officially took place after the beginning of the new NFL year in March, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported. The decision came amid reports of Stafford mulling retirement after missing the Rams' final seven games and being hindered significantly by injuries during the 2022 season.
The report also came hours after head coach Sean McVay informed the team of his plans to return for the 2023 season. The Rams are coming off a 5-12 record in 2022 -- the worst season during McVay's tenure -- just months removed after defeating the Cincinnati Bengals, 23-20, in Super Bowl LVI in February 2022.
Stafford threw for 2,087 yards, 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions on 206 of 303 passing in nine starts, leading the Rams to a 3-6 record during that span. McVay acquired Stafford in a win-now trade during the 2021 offseason that included multiple draft picks, which ultimately served as a key factor in both men winning their first Super Bowls.
But Los Angeles was plagued with numerous injuries in 2022, which included Stafford, as well as wide receiver Cooper Kupp and defensive tackle Aaron Donald. Los Angeles finished the 2022 season ranked third in the NFC West Division standings.