When I hear or read NOBODY WANTS TO COME TO DETROIT BECAUSE OF STAFFORD! It implies that Matthew Stafford is a lost cause and/or completely irreparable.
That's not true.
We have to think we've seen the lowest of Stafford's lows. Still under the proper guidance, he is well within range of piecing together multiple Pro Bowl seasons. However it may fall, because of last summer's contract extension Stafford is the Lions quarterback for the foreseeable future.
As special as the next tutor may be able to make Stafford, his contract may be more of a hindrance to the Detroit coaching job than his considerable playing ceiling being able to create yearning appeal. Add to that, Ndamukong Suh's deal needs reworking for further cap savings, and the Lions still need to make some difficult decisions (goodbye Delmas, Burleson + draft cheap starting talent) to ease their caps woes in 2014 and beyond.
The other component I believe that's working against the Lions finding Stafford as a tasty carrot for their opening is that he's Matthew Stafford.
It has nothing to do with his girlfriend's tweets, how he wears his hat, his untimely shoddy mechanics or any possible questions about his work ethic and desire. He's just who is he. It would be the same for ANY job that YOU would consider where, yea, it sounds like a special opportunity but being the controlling, alpha that you are, you want to put your stamp on something you created almost from the ground up, instead of refurbishing someone else's not so handywork.
Stafford is not a blank canvas.
Bill O'Brien - 1st pick in the draft in Houston.
The Browns have the 4th and 26th picks in the first round.
Lovie Smith - 7th pick, may or may not need a QB. In the meantime, has a cheap one to decide on, and likely a year before he REALLY has to make the playoffs considering how ruthless the NFC South will likely be once Atlanta rebounds.
The Vikings have the 8th pick. Pick a QB.
Whisenhunt's Titans choose just after the Lions, but he can make a QB change, and he can even ditch his expensive, former 2,000 yard rusher if he desires.
I've never bought a used car. I likely never, ever would.
Smith, BOB and Whisenhunt can buy new cars. The Lions job offers what could be a very valuable (though expensive) used vehicle. But, if you're like me and YOU JUST DON'T BUY USED, well, why would Stafford have any value to you?
If you're offered a job and you have the opportunity to erect the most important position in sports from the ground up in your image, or that of your offensive cohort - especially for the value of rookie deals now as compared to the Stafford + Bradford days - I can't truthfully tell you that that isn't more appealing than a really expensive quarterback who COULD be great, but even then, most of my financial resources are committed to him, and a few others.
This will NOT start or become another post (as of now anyway), but maybe Stafford isn't the prohibitive component with the Lions.
It could be Martin Mayhew.
Or the Ford family.
You'd have to be extremely bold to say you can work with a man who grew under the most disgraced general manager in Detroit sports history, and work for HIS bosses who've been the architects of decades below .500 football.