Like most NFL execs -- and coaches, and players, and so on -- Lions new general manager Brad Holmes has always admired Matthew Stafford from afar. Now it's his job to determine Stafford's future from up-close.
Holmes praised Stafford during his introductory press conference on Tuesday. He did not, however, commit to any course of action with Detroit's franchise QB, from bringing him back to sending him elsewhere.
Holmes wants time to evaluate the entire roster before he makes any decision at the top.
"Matthew, great player," Holmes said. "What you really appreciate is, the talent level is easy to see, but you really appreciate how his intangibles show on film. Just how urgent he plays, how competitive he is, the toughness that he shows.
"But it is my job to evaluate the entire roster, and through that process I have not had any discussions with Matt – or any players, for that matter. So I just want to be fair to the process to make sure we evaluate that thoroughly. But obviously, Matt, very good football player."
Holmes is the third full-time GM of Stafford's 12-year tenure in Detroit; Dan Campbell will be his fourth full-time head coach. With the Lions likely at least a couple years away from playoff contention, the time might be now to move on from Stafford. Especially ahead of a draft that's deep at quarterback.
That will be the biggest decision for Holmes and Campbell to make this offseason. And Holmes sounds in no rush to make it. It would have been easy for him to commit to Stafford on Tuesday, to say something along the lines of, "He's our quarterback." Instead, he left open all possibilities.
Stafford, more likely than not, will be back next season. But the Lions will have plenty of suitors should they opt to trade him, and their new GM isn't ready to rule anything out.