Anyone inclined to defend the trade that sent Matthew Stafford to the Rams can point to the fact that L.A. won a Super Bowl in their first year with the long-time Lions quarterback. That doesn’t mean the overall deal for Stafford can’t be scrutinized.
Yes, the Rams went all in. Repeatedly. Splashing the pot and hoping to win a championship. But there’s a price to pay, and the guy with one eyebrow has already shown up for his money.
The Rams and Lions did an old-school Ken Stabler-for-Dan Pastorini deal, swapping starting quarterbacks. The difference? The Lions got a starting quarterback PLUS a significant haul of draft picks: two first-round selections, and a third-round pick.
By hand-picking the Lions as the destination for Stafford, the Rams were able to offload Goff’s God-awful contract. As one G.M. explained it when the trade first happened, the Rams gave up a first-round pick and a third-round pick for Stafford — and a first-round pick to get the Lions to take Goff and his ill-advised second deal.
The thinking was that the Lions would pay, and play, Goff for two years. Then, they’d find their next quarterback, possibly a franchise player in the draft.
Things have changed. Goff has improved. The Lions have improved. As noted by NFL Media, the Lions now view Goff as their starter beyond 2022.
He’s signed through 2024, at very reasonable compensation. For next year, Goff makes $25.65 million. In the last year of his deal, it’s $26.65 million.
Based on how he’s playing and where the top of the market currently resides (north of $50 million), that’s a bargain. Enough of a bargain that, if the Lions truly intend to keep him around, they may need to start thinking about extending his contract, with an appropriate adjustment to reflect the fact that he has gone from being an albatross to becoming the answer for the long-suffering Lions.
In Detroit, Jared Goff transforms from albatross to answer originally appeared on Pro Football Talk