The Colts were the preferred destination up until LA swooped in with a better offer
In the LA Rams’ 27-24 Week 2 win over the Indianapolis Colts, both Matthew Stafford and Carson Wentz lived up to their reputations; Stafford again showed off his arm talent, pocket confidence, and decision-making, while Wentz hurt both of his ankles and left the game with injury.
Just as we could have predicted when the two quarterbacks were involved in trades earlier this year, but it was the Colts — not the Rams — who may have had the greatest odds of landing Stafford back in January, prior to Les Snead swooping in with a better offer than what Indy GM Chris Ballard was offering.
In her latest episode of The Morning After podcast, Kelly Stafford — wife of Matthew Stafford — mentioned that she and Matthew had been curious enough about going to the Colts that they were even looking for homes in Indianapolis on Zillow.
“During the whole trade thing, thought that was a possibility. We even looked on Zillow for houses there.”
Before he was dealt to the LA Rams, Stafford’s reported preferred destination was indeed the Colts, according to ESPN’s John Clayton.
“Indianapolis. That’s the team from what I gather Matthew Stafford likes,” Clayton said on Wednesday. “He likes it better than any other.”
“So, I think he’s kind of in the same mind as Jim Irsay and also he knows Jacob Eason, because they both have some roots in Georgia. Not as far as where Stafford grew up, but I think right now the worry you have is Carolina going to make a big offer? I don’t know if they’ll give up the 8th pick in the draft. Washington has the 19th pick in the first round, and they’re going to be in the bidding. San Francisco is going to be in the bidding.”
“I know I said it was going to be Washington because I think they have more clout right now than the Colts, but I think ultimately Stafford has a great chance to come to Indianapolis.”
Ballard was reportedly hesitant to part with more than a 2021 first round pick (21st overall) for Stafford and moved out of the way when Snead entered with a 2022 and 2023 first round pick, plus Jared Goff.
Instead, the Colts traded a conditional 2022 first round pick (which will become a second round pick if Wentz misses a certain amount of time, which at this point appears inevitable) to the Philadelphia Eagles for Wentz. Whether or not you have eight months of hindsight or not, the net value of a conditional 2022 first round pick for Wentz OR a 2022 first, 2023 first, and Goff for Stafford, would sure seem to weigh heavily in favor of the guy who can help a team win a Super Bowl.
As opposed to one who has as many Super Bowl rings (1) as he has career postseason completions (1). And career postseason fumbles (1) and sacks taken (1).
Through two starts, following missing most of training camp with a broken foot, Wentz has completed 65% of his attempts for 498 yards, three touchdowns, one interception, six sacks, and two hurt ankles.
Stafford is at 70% completions, 599 yards, five touchdowns, one interception on a ball deflected at the line of scrimmage, two sacks, an NFL-high 15.4 yards per completion, and despite multiple attempts by helmets this year to destroy it, a healthy right thumb.
For the Rams, the cost could ultimately be two late first round picks directly because of the quarterback who they traded for, while the Colts could ultimately be sending the Eagles an early first or early second round pick directly because they were not willing to sacrifice a little bit more for Stafford.
Even if Matthew and Kelly Stafford were willing to move to Indianapolis if they were wanted there. The Rams are happy that they weren’t wanted quite enough.