New England Patriots

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 18: Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions looks on from the sidelines in the second half while playing the Chicago Bears at Ford Field on October 18, 2015 in Detroit, Michigan. The Detroit Lions won 37-34 in overtime to beat the Chicago Bears. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

By Matt Dolloff,

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford lent credence to a recent report that he did not want to get traded to the Patriots. Stafford himself admitted in a new interview, without naming names, that he had a list of clubs he preferred to avoid – because his goal is to go for a Super Bowl championship.

The Rams’ roster is most certainly closer to “a quarterback away from a Super Bowl” than the Patriots are. So Stafford got his wish. He arrives to a team with an elite head coach and defense, and a solid stable of weapons led by receivers Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp.

New England has the elite coach, but the weapons and defense? At best, they’re in flux. The Patriots may be a quarterback away from vaulting right back into contention for the AFC East and a playoff spot, but there’s a lot more work to do to get back to legitimate Super Bowl contention.

So Bill Belichick and the Pats couldn’t have possibly been on Stafford’s “list.”

Matthew Stafford admitted he left non-contending teams like the Patriots off his trade list. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

Matthew Stafford admitted he left non-contending teams like the Patriots off his trade list. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

“I asked to go to a team that was ready to win a championship,” Stafford told the Detroit Free Press (quote via Pro Football Talk). “And, you know, there were a few teams on that list. There were a few teams that were not on that list. And they were respectful of that and understood completely. I had thoughts and reasons for each one of them.”

The Patriots are far from alone. There were few teams to begin with who are close to championship contention but missing a franchise quarterback. The Rams had to move Jared Goff to the Rams to even make room for Stafford.

MORE: How did Patriots’ Stafford offer stack up with others?

It’s reality for Belichick and the Pats at the moment. Things can turn around in a hurry, especially when the Patriots are going to have around $60 million to work with on improving their roster. But good luck convincing an established franchise guy to come here in 2021.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff or send him a nasty email at