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While Tom Brady has been everything the Bucs could have hoped for and more, the reality is that the 43-year old may only play one more season after this one, which has prompted all Bucs fans to have one eye on the present and one eye on the future. So hearing head coach Bruce Arians gush about Lions’ quarterback Matt Stafford on Tuesday certainly got the wheels turning about a potential marriage in Tampa Bay in 2022.

“He’s one of my all-time favorite guys,” Arians said. “He’s tough as nails. Like I said the other day, he’s one of the few quarterbacks that I like to go out and watch him warm up, just to watch him throw, because he’s so special. I’ve always felt like he was one of the top 4-5 guys in this league for a long time. Like I said, he’s tough as nails and his guys know it. They know he’s gonna suck it up for them.”

Stafford played through a rib injury on Sunday in a loss to the Titans, throwing for 252 yards and a touchdown on 22-32 passing. Despite the Lions struggles as a team, Stafford’s numbers are again impressive this season, as he’s thrown for 3,774 yards and 23 touchdowns to just nine interceptions, while completing over 64 percent of his passes. He’s been especially sharp for the Lions over the past few weeks, playing his best football of the season.

“He can make every throw from every angle,” Arians said. “He’s just so, so talented. There are only so many guys that are that talented, you just say ‘hey I’m gonna sneak out and go watch him warm up’. I’ve been a fan of his for a long, long time.”

Stafford’s career has been statistically prolific and an amazing testament to his longevity, but he’s rarely been recognized as a top quarterback in the NFL while toiling in one of the worst organizations in the league.

“It’s the same old story,” Arians said. “It’s winning. You can be a great player, if your team is not winning, you’re not going to get what you deserve, and he deserves a lot.”

The Lions are looking at a coaching regime change this offseason, and it remains to be seen what will become of Stafford. His contract makes it unlikely, but not impossible, that he’ll be moved this offseason, but after the 2021 season it becomes much more manageable for the Lions to rid themselves of Stafford’s $27 million cap hit for the 2022 season. Given the fact that Detroit will be looking at a rebuild over the next two offseasons, and the Bucs could be looking for another veteran quarterback option if Brady retires after the 2021 season, an Arians-Stafford marriage could make a ton of sense for both sides.

For now, Arians will be content with beating Stafford’s Lions on Saturday, a victory which would clinch the Bucs first playoff berth in 13 seasons.

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About the Author: Jon Ledyard

Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft
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surferdudes
9 months ago

Oh please no. If Arain’s can’t win a SB this year, or next with Tom Brady, he sure won’t win one with Stafford. Stafford, who never won anything, two years older, always injured, isn’t going to raise the Lombardi with a 70 year old Arains. When Tom retires, I hope we have a better QB plan in place.

Dave
Reply to  surferdudes
9 months ago

Always hurt? Yet, weird…he always plays. He’s played 163 of a possible 190 games in his career. Including not missing a single game between 2011-2018. Think you’re confusing him with someone else dude. And if you’re going to blame him for never winning anything, you haven’t payed attention to the organization he plays for. If they’re not the worst organization in football, they’re on a very short list. Complete ineptitude from top to bottom for decades and decades. I feel bad for Stafford. Put him on a winning team for the past decade and he’d have some serious playoff stats… Read more »

Last edited 9 months ago by Dave
buddah
Reply to  surferdudes
9 months ago

I don’t agree with all the bitching about Arians. He has a 16-14 record with the Buccaneers which places him second all time in winning percentage for Buccaneers coaches. His career record as an NFL coach is 65-44 59.5%. He took over a 5-11 team improved it from 5 wins to 7 and now to 10 or 11. The drafting and personnel moves under his leadership have greatly improved the roster. The Buccaneers will likely be a Super Bowl favorite next year, But many of the posters on this site want to run him out of town. We have not… Read more »

Buc76
9 months ago

The 49ers just grabbed josh Rosen. Why didn’t they put this guy on the roster. Why even bring him here. How stupid

BigSombrero
9 months ago

One day it’s Rodgers that will follow Brady, the next day it’s Stafford. One legendary dinosaur at a time please.
Only one time has a super bowl winning quarterback joined another team and won a super bowl there. Maybe Brady will match Manning, but one thing is for sure, I’ve got my popcorn ready.

Rob
Rob
9 months ago

I’ve said it once and got some laughs but if y’all are sleeping at the thought of us having Matt Stafford as our QB you’re crazy. Sombrero calling him a dinosaur? The dude is 32 years old! 32! If he’s available after next season (assuming Brady hangs it up after two years with us) I would gladly take a tough as heck QB who could finally have some success with great talent around him. For those saying he’s injury prone…he missed some games at the end of the season last year and at that point was on a 136 game… Read more »

Dave
Reply to  Rob
9 months ago

Dude you took the words out of my mouth. All of them lol. He’s 32, an elite passer(who’s played for arguably the worst nfl franchise for the past decade), and just so happens to be born in TB. So there’s incentive for him to wanna play in his hometown

Last edited 9 months ago by Dave
eaustinyoung
9 months ago

I don’t know if Arians comes back in 2022. And a lot of people are expecting Todd Bowles to get a HC job somewhere. I’m not looking past 2021 yet.

buddah
9 months ago

Would love to have Stafford. It has nearly always been Stafford and a bunch of guys.

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