That's the crux of his trade request, which the Detroit Lions will honor by exploring options for the quarterback on the market. He gave it 12 years in Detroit. It didn't work. That's OK for both parties to admit. And never was there a cleaner time to do this, for three reasons.
Age: Stafford turns 33 next month (OK, so maybe 40 in Lions years) and should have a few more prime seasons left.
Contract: His deal is reasonable for high-level-quarterback standards. Stafford, who is eligible for free agency in 2023, is owed $53 million over the next two seasons. That's basically the same commitment Tampa Bay made to Tom Brady last offseason. The $10 million roster bonus is due on the fifth day of the league year, which creates a trade deadline of sorts. And the cap hits for the next two years are $33 million and $26 million, the first of which could be offset by the Lions absorbing the $10 million left of signing bonus proration.
Compensation: Stafford will be costly, but the consensus around the league is that this won't be outrageous. While Deshaun Watson could justify a haul of picks in any Houston trade, Stafford is generally considered in that next tier. And maybe, with a new scene, Stafford's game hits a new stratosphere.
So what would it take to land Stafford from the Lions? And which teams should be in the mix? Here's how it all lines up, based on calls made to execs around the league over the weekend.