Quinn emphatically denied a report that his team is in talks to move its starting signal-caller, texting, "100% false!!" to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press on Thursday morning.
Earlier in the day, a report from WDIV-TV in Detroit, which cited sources close to the Lions, said trade discussions involving Stafford had been underway for a couple of weeks.
Beyond Quinn's strong response, there are factors that could deter a Stafford trade this offseason.
First, the Lions restructured the quarterback's contract in December, converting a March roster bonus into a signing bonus. The move saved Detroit $9 million in 2020 cap space but also pushed Stafford's dead-money figure to $32 million, per Spotrac. His cap hit will be $21.3 million if he plays in Detroit.
Second, Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia were put on notice by Lions ownership in December. The duo was retained after a disappointing 3-12-1 campaign, but owner Martha Firestone Ford said she expects the Lions to be a playoff contender in 2020.
Additionally, the 32-year-old Stafford was playing some of the best football of his career before missing the second half of the 2019 season due to a back injury. Stafford led the Lions to a 3-4-1 record while throwing for 2,499 yards, 19 touchdowns, and five interceptions.
While some have speculated that Detroit could use the No. 3 overall pick to draft a quarterback such as Tua Tagovailoa, the NFC North club might struggle to compete in 2020 with a rookie under center and a cap constrained by Stafford's dead money.
But as the Lions attempted to throw cold water on Thursday's rumors, the quarterback's wife, Kelly, fanned the flames with an Instagram story.
Screenshots of a story that evaluated potential landing spots for the pivot were posted to Kelly's Instagram account, though they appeared to go online prior to the publication of WDIV-TV's report.
Stafford has been Detroit's starter since being drafted with the No. 1 overall pick in 2009.