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Matthew Stafford officially available for the Broncos

(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

If new Denver Broncos general manager George Paton desires a veteran quarterback, there’s one available he’s very familiar with. Back on December 15th, Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan host Chad Brown told “The Drive” that the Detroit Lions planned to move on from quarterback Matthew Stafford.

We now have more details as Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan’s ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reports the Lions and Stafford have mutually agreed to part ways this offseason. According to Schefter, new Detroit general manager Brad Holmes will begin fielding trade offers this week.

The 32-year-old quarterback is no stranger to Paton, whose Vikings teams faced Stafford 21 times as competitors in the NFC North. “After calling several Lions games the last few years, I believe Matthew Stafford is still an elite talent,” said Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan host and Fox Sports NFL analyst Mark Schlereth. “The roster in Detroit was one of the worst I’ve ever seen, especially on the defensive side, and Stafford somehow got them to five wins. If he’s available to the Broncos, George Paton should go after him aggressively.”

Per Schefter, Stafford has two years remaining on his contract that is due to pay him a combined $43 million — $20 million this year and $23 million next year.

Stafford will be heading into his thirteenth professional season after Detroit made him the No.1 pick of the 2009 NFL Draft. He started 165 games for Detroit and went on to smash every meaningful franchise record for the Lions in passing: yards, touchdown passes, completion percentage, and more. Despite his statistical success, Stafford was unable to turn around the Lions losing ways as the team only reached the playoffs three times under his direction and went 0-3 in those games. Assuming he is traded, Stafford will finish his career in the motor city with a record of 74-93-1 including the postseason.

Would Paton be interested in acquiring Stafford to stabilize the quarterback position with a veteran? If so, what will the cost be? And is a change of scenery what Stafford needs to translate his passing statistics into victories? Things could get very interesting in Broncos Country this week.