BOSTON (CBS) – With Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford on the trading block, it was widely speculated the Patriots could have been in the mix.

That wasn’t the case as he was instead traded to the Los Angeles Rams. And according to a new report, there is a major reason New England wasn’t an option – Stafford himself.

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Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports Boston reported on Sunday that Stafford told the Lions he was open to being traded anywhere, with the exception of the Patriots.

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“With a load of cap space and a yawning void at the position, the Patriots figured to be frontrunners for Stafford along with teams like the Colts,” Curran reported. “But Stafford apparently nixed the notion of being the guy that replaces the guy that failed to replace THE GUY.”

Stafford played for Matt Patricia in Detroit. It’s not clear how much it impacted Stafford’s thinking that Patricia has since rejoined New England’s coaching staff.

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Curran goes on to say that the situation could be a sign that it is going to be difficult for the Patriots to convince players to come to new England when free agency opens on March 17. Staff