Rams’ Matthew Stafford addresses contract and trade talks

Matthew Stafford is preparing for his 15th NFL season, his third with the Rams.

But during an offseason in which several big names departed and the roster was not restocked with stars, even his name came up.

Stafford acknowledged Wednesday that teams inquired about trading for him, and that the Rams approached him about restructuring his contract.

After the Rams won Super Bowl LVI at the end of the 2021 season, they rewarded Stafford with a four-year extension that included $120 million in guarantees and could be worth as much as $160 million. Stafford, 35, will carry a salary-cap number of $20 million this season, $49.5 million in 2024 and $50.5 million in 2025, according to overthecap.com.

That deal remains in place.

Last season, Stafford suffered a concussion and spinal injury that forced him to sit out eight of the last nine games.

He said it was “flattering” that other teams inquired about trading for him.

“I just know that I’m really happy where I am, playing for this team, playing for this coach and playing for these fans,” he said after practice at UC Irvine.

After a disastrous 5-12 finish last season, the Rams decided to cut spending. They traded or released numerous players, including highly paid star cornerback Jalen Ramsey, linebacker Bobby Wagner and edge rusher Leonard Floyd.

In March, Stafford’s $31-million base salary for this season became fully guaranteed and he received a $26-million option bonus.

On the Athletic’s “11 Personnel” podcast, Rams chief operating officer Kevin Demoff refuted a report that the Rams asked Stafford to restructure his contract.

Rams quarterbacks (from left) Matthew Stafford, Stetson Bennett and Dresser Winn convene during first day of camp.

Rams quarterbacks (from left) Matthew Stafford, Stetson Bennett and Dresser Winn convene during first day of camp.

(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

On Wednesday, when asked if the Rams reached out to him or his agent about renegotiating or restructuring his contract, Stafford said, “They did, and I’ll keep all that kind of stuff and those conversations in house.”

Stafford later was asked to clarify if the Rams requested to restructure his deal.

“I don’t know what the technical term of it is,” he said, “but we had conversations on that kind of stuff, and I’ll leave it at that.”

Said coach Sean McVay: “When that March deadline came in terms of him being due the bonus that he’s deserved and he’s earned, we were all in unanimous agreement that we wanted him to be the quarterback.”

Last year, Stafford did not throw passes during offseason workouts and was limited during training camp because of right elbow tendinitis. In nine games, he passed for 10 touchdowns with eight interceptions.

Stafford was a full participant in offseason workouts and appeared to be at full strength Wednesday in the Rams’ first training camp workout.

“I feel a lot better physically,” he said. “I feel really healthy compared to where I was last year. I was able to get the work in that I wanted to get in coming into this, and that makes it a whole lot more fun for me.”

Etc.

Star receiver Cooper Kupp and star defensive lineman Aaron Donald, both coming off season-ending ankle surgeries, were full participants. … Receiver Ben Skowronek, who was sidelined for offseason workouts because of a foot injury, practiced. … Stafford connected with tight end Tyler Higbee on a touchdown pass. … Rookie quarterback Stetson Bennett showed his mobility and made several impressive passes after fleeing the pocket. … On the final play of practice, safety Rashad Torrence intercepted a pass.