Stafford recently told the team he feels it's an optimal time to start fresh as the club enters a period of transition, Pelissero adds. The Lions, who have hired a new head coach and general manager, reportedly agreed with the veteran passer and will honor his request.
Lions head coach Dan Campbell and general manager Brad Holmes were made aware of Stafford's likely departure before joining the team, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Detroit is expected to receive at least one first-round pick in return for Stafford, Schefter added.
A trade for the 32-year-old passer would be expected to occur early in March as Stafford is due a $10-million roster bonus on the fifth day of the 2021 league year. The Lions would save $14 million in cap space if a trade is completed.
The No. 1 pick in the 2009 draft, Stafford has spent his entire career in Detroit, setting numerous club records. He has thrown for a franchise-leading 45,109 passing yards and 282 touchdown passes.
Stafford will likely be in high demand for teams seeking an upgrade at the quarterback position this offseason. He's in the midst of a five-year, $135-million deal, per Spotrac.
The Lions also own the No. 7 selection in this year's NFL draft after a 5-11 campaign.