Jared Goff

Lions GM: Jared Goff Not Bridge QB

While the Panthers and Broncos received more attention for passing on Justin Fields and Mac Jones with top-10 picks, the Lions also bypassed the chance to pair a first-round quarterback with a new regime. These QBs did not appear to be on Detroit’s radar.

The Lions took Penei Sewell at No. 7 and are expected to slot him their first-string right tackle, where he will protect Jared Goff. The Lions required two first-round picks and a 2021 third from the Rams to take on Goff’s contract, but their top decision-maker has concerned himself with other positions on the team’s roster. Goff has the potential to start for many years in Detroit, per GM Brad Holmes.

I never viewed him as a bridge option,” Holmes said, via Mike O’Hara of DetroitLions.com. “He’s been a winning quarterback. I think his resume speaks for itself.”

Goff is still just 26, has two Pro Bowls on his resume and started in Super Bowl LIII. However, the former No. 1 overall pick finished 22nd and 23rd in Total QBR in 2019 and ’20, respectively, and his play down the stretch last season prompted Sean McVay to favor former Alliance of American Football QB John Wolford and then greenlight a splashy trade for Matthew Stafford.

The Lions also lack the proven weapons Goff enjoyed as a Ram, having signed Breshad Perriman and Tyrell Williams. The latter missed all of last season due to injury, and the Lions did not draft a receiver in the first three rounds. Goff will also transition from McVay to Lions OC Anthony Lynn, who has not called plays in a few years. Detroit should have an upper-echelon offensive line set to block for its new passer, however, which could help him bounce back.

Holmes and Dan Campbell have started a rebuild, and the team holds two first-round picks in 2022 and ’23. Despite Holmes having played a key role in the Rams acquiring Goff via 2016 trade-up, when Holmes worked as the team’s college scouting director, Goff struggling in 2021 will likely put the Lions on the radar for the top QBs in the 2022 draft. But Goff steering this ship for two seasons should also be considered an option; moving his contract will not create any notable cap savings until 2023. Goff is signed through 2024, carrying $30MM-plus cap numbers in each of those years.

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Snead: Rams Eyeing 5-8 Years With Stafford

Matthew Stafford‘s contract runs through the 2022 season. The Rams managed to navigate the primary free agency period without reducing their new quarterback’s cap number, but they are interested in extending Stafford.

Les Snead provided a timeline for the team’s future with Stafford. Snead envisions the 2009 No. 1 overall pick playing for the Rams well beyond his current contract, which would make sense given the cost to acquire him — multiple future first-rounders and change. The 2021 season will be Stafford’s age-33 campaign.

I don’t think we did it thinking two years,” Snead said of the trade during an appearance on The Athletic’s 11 Personnel podcast (via Rams Wire). “Based on his age, you can legitimately think five to seven, eight years if you look at what Drew (Brees) has done. I don’t know if we’re going to get into Tom Brady, right? Too many things going. But with quarterbacks of his pedigree, a lot of those guys have played into their late 30s, for sure. So that was definitely the vision with Matt.”

The Rams do not have modern experience deploying quarterbacks with Stafford’s experience. Under Snead, the team’s two primary passers — Sam Bradford and Jared Goff — did not last until age 28 with the team. Kurt Warner was out of St. Louis at 32, before his seventh NFL season. Stafford turned 33 earlier this year and has battled injuries in recent years. He missed eight games because of a back malady in 2019 — his first absences since 2011 — and detailed a few issues that bothered him last year. Stafford underwent thumb surgery recently.

Stafford’s recent injuries notwithstanding, the Rams are committed to the 12-year Lions starter. While Goff and Sean McVay‘s relationship progressively deteriorated last year, Snead insists the Rams did not want to jettison the former No. 1 overall pick for the sake of doing so. Stafford being available changed the equation.

To do a move of that magnitude involving quarterbacks, specifically involving Jared, there definitely needed to be a Matthew Stafford on the other end,” Snead said. “We were not going to be stronger by moving Jared for a draft pick, per se. That wasn’t the case, and I think it did take someone of Matt Stafford’s pedigree, ability, experience, all those things, skill set to make that move.”

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QB Notes: Goff, Rams, Lions, Fields, Hawks

Had John Wolford made it through the Rams‘ wild-card win over the Seahawks healthy, Sean McVay was prepared to start him over Jared Goff against the Packers (assuming the Rams would have won in Round 1 with their backup), Lindsey Thiry of ESPN.com notes. Wolford suffered a first-quarter neck injury that brought Goff back into action. McVay decided shortly after the Rams’ Week 17 game that Wolford would start over Goff in Seattle, despite not yet gauging Goff’s progress after thumb surgery. Considering the disparity between Goff and Wolford’s contracts and the nature of their arrivals — the former a No. 1 overall pick and the latter a UDFA who played in the Alliance of American Football — the gap between them narrowing to this degree is striking.

McVay and Goff’s relationship deteriorated over the course of the 2020 season, and the Los Angeles HC openly pondered if the Rams could return to a Super Bowl with Goff at the controls, Thiry adds. While Matthew Stafford will provide the Rams with a considerable upgrade in arm strength, Thiry notes McVay’s issues with Goff did not stem from his arm talent. But Goff’s inconsistency resulted in him dropping from 10th in QBR in 2018 to 22nd in ’19 and 23rd last season. The former No. 1 overall pick will receive a fresh start in Detroit.

Here is the latest from the quarterback world:

  • A month away from the draft, teams are not in agreement on Justin Fields‘ stock, according to NFL.com’s Gil Brandt. The Ohio State passer may well be a top-five pick, and Brandt has him ranked seventh in this class. But some teams have placed the two-year Buckeyes starter well below that level, the Hall of Fame scout adds (Twitter links). In Brandt’s view, the 49ers likely did not trade up to No. 3 overall to select Fields. Trey Lance and Mac Jones loom as the other high-end quarterback prospects expected to be available for the 49ers.
  • The 2021 third-round draft choice the Rams are sending the Lions in the Goff-Stafford trade landed at No. 101 overall, according to the NFL transaction wire. The Rams will retain their original third-round pick (88th overall) and also still hold the No. 103 pick, obtained from the league after the Lions hired former Rams college scouting director Brad Holmes as GM.
  • A man has accused Seahawks quarterback Alex McGough of punching him in the face on St. Patrick’s Day, TMZ reports. McGough, 25, allegedly punched Anthony Albino at a bar last week in a dispute related to McGough’s girlfriend. Albino intends to press charges, according to TMZ. The Seahawks drafted McGough in the 2018 seventh round, but he has bounced around the league. Seattle reacquired McGough in December of last year.

Lions GM Discusses QB Position, Draft

Following the Jared Goff/Matthew Stafford trade, the Lions quarterback depth chart is already going to look a whole lot different in 2021. Based on some recent comments from general manager Brad Holmes, it might not just be the top of the depth chart that’ll see changes. During an appearance on the Huddle and Flow podcast, the executive noted that the team will definitely consider drafting a quarterback, even with the seventh-overall pick.

“I don’t think when you’re picking this high that you can be ‘out’ on any position,” Holmes said. “But obviously, quarterback is such an important position and I just think it’s good drafting business, always, to be very, very thorough on that quarterback class – regardless of what your situation is. When I was with the Rams, I always said, regardless of what you have at quarterback [you have to be thorough], and especially now, it’s the same approach. It is a good crop coming out this year, but it’s definitely not a position that will be ignored by us by any means.”

This isn’t a massive surprise. After all, Goff has underwhelmed over the past two seasons, and the quarterback obviously wasn’t the main asset acquired in the Stafford deal (that honor belongs to the pair of future first-rounders). However, the team still has at least two (pricey) years of Goff, so they can take a patient approach at the position knowing Goff will probably be under center for at least 2021.

We leaned earlier this week that even the Lions’ backup quarterbacks aren’t safe. The front office has reportedly had trade discussions with teams about backup Chase Daniel.

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More Fallout From Matthew Stafford Trade

It’s been a week since the Rams and Lions completed the Matthew Stafford trade, but the fallout from that deal is ongoing. Here’s the latest:

  • We previously heard that the Panthers offered their No. 8 overall pick in this year’s draft, plus a later pick, for Stafford. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (via Twitter), that later selection was a fifth-rounder, and Carolina also included Teddy Bridgewater in the proposal, so the Lions would at least have had a veteran signal-caller to take Stafford’s place while they groomed a younger QB. Plus, Detroit would have had the No. 7 and No. 8 overall picks in the draft, so it would have had a terrific chance to land a top collegiate passer and another elite prospect, or at least enough ammo to trade up for a top QB prospect.
  • What’s more, Bridgewater’s contract is much less onerous than that of Jared Goff, who ended up going to the Lions in the swap. But as Peter Schrager of the NFL Network tweets, the Lions didn’t just take on Goff’s contract in order to squeeze more draft picks out of the Rams. They actually wanted Goff and believe he can regain the form he displayed in the 2017-18 seasons, which is a key factor in evaluating Detroit’s return.
  • When negotiations with the Rams commenced, though, the Lions were interested in another high-profile LA player. As Schefter reports in a separate tweet, Detroit first requested DT Aaron Donald, a request that the Rams summarily dismissed. Donald just landed his third Defensive Player of the Year award, and he obviously would have gone a long way towards the Lions’ much-needed defensive rebuild.
  • Stafford’s presence is attracting free agents to the Rams, as Schefter writes. Already, players have reached out to Stafford to express their interest in teaming up with him in Los Angeles, and Lions wide receiver Marvin Jones — who is eligible for free agency — is one such player. However, the Rams are projected to be well over the new salary cap of $180.5MM, so it’s unclear how active they will be in the free agent market.

Jared Goff Addresses Trade To Lions

Upon finding out the Rams had included him in their trade package for Matthew Stafford, Jared Goff said he was “extremely disappointed and upset,” according to Sam Farmer and Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times. The five-year veteran has come to better terms with the trade in the days since.

The Rams went from parting with considerable draft capital to acquire Goff over Carson Wentz at No. 1 overall in 2016 to giving him a four-year, $134MM extension in 2019 to being noncommittal about his 2021 status. Goff is now bound for Detroit.

Ultimately, they wanted to go in a different direction,” Goff said, via Farmer. “As the quarterback, as the guy that’s at arguably the most important position on the field, if you’re in a place that you’re not wanted and they want to move on from you, the feeling’s mutual.

You don’t want to be in the wrong place. It became increasingly clear that was the case. [The trade] is something that I’m hopeful is going to be so good for my career.”

The Lions were able to pry two first-round picks from the Rams because of the lofty guarantees in Goff’s deal. The Super Bowl LIII starter, at least publicly, has not acknowledged a point where his status in Los Angeles went south. Goff finished 22nd in Total QBR in 2019 and 23rd in 2020, dropping from the Pro Bowl perch on which he resided after his first two seasons with Sean McVay.

That’s the tough part right now is trying to figure that out, when did that happen?” Goff said. “Those are all conversations that I may or may not have, and try to figure it out. That’s the conversation to have.


Discussions with Dan Campbell and other members of the Lions’ new regime have led Goff to the reported conclusion he will be the team’s 2021 starter. The Lions will have a non-Stafford primary starting quarterback for the first time since their 0-16 2008 season.

While Detroit will likely be linked to passers with its No. 7 overall pick, the team has Goff under contract through 2024. No easy out from this deal exists until after the 2022 season. A year after the Rams took on more than $33MM in combined dead money from Todd Gurley and Brandin Cooks‘ departures, they will eat $22.2MM — a single-contract record — in 2021 because of Goff’s exit.

“[Discussions with Lions brass are] what made me go, ‘oh my God, this is how it’s supposed to feel. This makes me feel great,’ how excited they were, how fired up they were,” Goff said. “… As time has gone on over the last few days, and even the end of that night, it becomes a positive and you start to feel really good about yourself again. You start to feel, I don’t want to say relief is the word, but you start to feel happy, grateful, ready for a new opportunity.”

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Goff-Stafford Fallout: Rams, Lions, Suitors

Sean McVay‘s call to Jared Goff informing him of the Ramsdecision to trade him ended quickly, but the five-year starter will exit a rapidly deteriorating (for him) situation. Both McVay and Les Snead gave suboptimal endorsements of Goff’s 2021 status recently. While the Lions could well draft a quarterback with their first-round pick, Goff is now set up to be the starter in Detroit.

I’m just excited to be somewhere that I know wants me and appreciates me,” Goff said, via NFL.com’s Michael Silver. “I’m moving forward and couldn’t be more excited to build a winner there. I’m excited about Dan (Campbell) and the whole staff.”

Goff had entered the past four Rams seasons as the team’s unquestioned starter and will now attempt to stabilize his career in Detroit. The Rams will host the Lions at some point next season. Here is the latest from Saturday night’s blockbuster trade:

  • Several teams made offers for Matthew Stafford. We can add Washington to that list. The NFC East champions presented the Lions an offer featuring more 2021 assets than the Rams offered, Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post tweets. It can be assumed Washington was willing to part with its first-round pick — No. 19 overall — but the team’s proposal could not match the unique opportunity the Lions had in leveraging Goff’s lavish contract into a monster Rams package. Washington has Alex Smith and Kyle Allen under contract for 2021, but Smith’s status is far from certain and Allen is coming off a severe injury. Taylor Heinicke is set to be an RFA.
  • Joining the Panthers, Broncos, Patriots and Washington in pursuing Stafford: the 49ers, Colts and Bears, according to NBC Sports’ Peter King (Twitter link) and NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport. All of these teams have quarterback questions, though the 49ers have indicated Jimmy Garoppolo will be their starter next season. A Bears deal would have certainly qualified as farfetched, but Chicago made an effort at a rare intra-divisional trade. Mitchell Trubisky is a free agent and obviously has not delivered anything close to what the Bears envisioned when they drafted him. Nick Foles is under contract for 2021, but the Bears, at the very least, will bring in competition for a quarterback they benched this season. The Colts lost Philip Rivers to retirement and have Jacoby Brissett as a UFA-to-be. While Jim Irsay said he would welcome Andrew Luck back, nothing has transpired on this front in a while.
  • Goff has already spoken with Campbell and other Lions staffers, and Jeff Darlington of ESPN.com notes (via Twitter) the five-year veteran has a physical coming soon. While the Lions could technically fail Goff on his physical and void the trade, Darlington adds that based on Goff’s early conversations with Detroit coaches it can clearly be assumed the former No. 1 overall pick will be the team’s starter to open the 2021 season.

Lions Had 6+ Offers For Matthew Stafford

The Lions agreed to trade Matthew Stafford to the Rams over the weekend, but not before mulling more than six offers in total, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com hears (Twitter links). A few of those packages included a 2021 first-rounder. Ultimately, the Lions opted for two future first-round picks, plus Jared Goff‘s outsized contract. 

The Lions’ choice may reflect some level of confidence in Goff, who has struggled mightily since signing a four-year, $134MM extension with the Rams. Meanwhile, the Rams have secured a clear upgrade at the QB position for the here-and-now. Of course, the deal also shows exactly how hard it was for the Rams to unload Goff’s contract. The Rams mortgaged the future even further with this blockbuster, sacrificing their 2022 and 2023 first-rounders, plus a 2021 third-round pick. They’ll also be saddled with $22.2MM in dead money, while saving $12.4MM on his ’21 cap hit.

At one point, it was reported that 10-12 teams had expressed interest in Stafford. The 49ers – with a once-promising and highly-paid QB of their own — were among the rumored suitors, though it’s not clear if they were among the finalists. At the end of the day, the Rams outbid everyone else, landing the soon-to-be 33-year-old and escaping one of the league’s largest commitments all at once. The Lions, now led by ex-Rams exec Brad Holmes, will have ample ammunition as they remake their roster. As for the Rams — they’ll be without their original first-round pick until 2024, at the earliest.

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Lions Trade Matthew Stafford To Rams For Jared Goff

The Lions have agreed to trade Matthew Stafford to the Rams, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. The deal will send the Lions’ longtime star to L.A. in exchange for fellow QB Jared Goff, plus a slew of draft picks. The exact terms of the trade could evolve in the coming weeks, but here’s what the trade currently looks like: 

Rams receive:

  • QB Matthew Stafford

Lions receive:

  • QB Jared Goff
  • 2021 third-round pick
  • 2022 first-round pick
  • 2023 first-round pick

The deal cannot become official until March 17th, though Stafford will surely be in contact with his new bosses much sooner. Stafford, soon to be 33, had spent all 12 of his NFL seasons in Detroit. When Stafford and the Lions agreed to go their separate ways, the Colts, Patriots, Broncos, and Washington TBDs were quickly connected to him. Ultimately, the Rams pounced on their chance to upgrade at the QB position and unload Goff’s contract in a historic swap of former No. 1 overall picks.

Goff earned Pro Bowl nods in Year 2 and Year 3 of his pro career, including a 2018 campaign where was under center for a Super Bowl appearance. Things have tailed off over the past two years, despite his high-priced extension. In 2019, he threw a career-high 16 interceptions. He followed that up with just 20 passing touchdowns in 2020 — the lowest total since his rookie year, when he started in just seven games.

Stafford, meanwhile, has fallen short of the 20-TD mark just once since 2011. Aside from his injury-filled 2019 campaign with just 19 passing touchdowns, he’s been an absolute rock for the Lions. The Rams are now set to add one of the game’s top quarterbacks to one of the league’s most talented rosters.

The Lions, meanwhile, will try their hand with Goff, who won’t turn 27 until October. Not long removed from his NFC title — or his No. 1 overall selection, for that matter — there’s reason to believe that Goff can get back on track. Even if he can’t, the Lions have tons of draft ammunition to work with in their rebuild.

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Rams Shopping QB Jared Goff?

Raise your hand if you saw this one coming. Following news from last night that Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford would welcome a trade to the Rams, we’re now hearing that Los Angeles is shopping around their incumbent signal-caller. Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic reports that the Rams have held “exploratory talks with multiple teams” regarding a Jared Goff trade.

[RELATED: Rams In Play For Matthew Stafford?]

From a financial perspective, trading Goff is easier said than done. As Rodrigue explains, the Rams would be stuck with $22.2MM in dead money if they were to trade the former first-overall pick. However, a trade would be more palatable if it took place after June 1, as the Rams would be left with only $6.8MM in dead money (plus another $15.4MM in dead cap in 2022). As our own Sam Robinson pointed out last night, releasing Goff is also unrealistic. The guarantees in the quarterback’s four-year, $134MM deal go through 2022, and the organization doesn’t have an easy out on that contract until 2023. While Stafford has base salaries of just $9.5MM and $12.5MM over the next two years, Goff’s contract certainly complicates any potential trade.

After earning Pro Bowl nodes in his sophomore and junior seasons (including a 2018 campaign where he helped guide the Rams to a Super Bowl loss), Goff has seemingly plateaued over the past two years. He tossed a career-high 16 interceptions in 2019, and his 20 passing touchdowns in 2020 was the lowest total since his rookie year (when he started only seven games). For comparison’s sake, Stafford has tossed fewer than 20 touchdowns only once since 2011, and that came during a 2019 campaign where he compiled 19 passing touchdowns in only eight games.

As Sam noted last night, Rams head coach Sean McVay and GM Les Snead have recently made comments indicating Goff’s status is less than secure. Rodrigue also notes that there’s a connection between the Rams’ and Lions’ front offices; new Lions GM Brad Holmes previously served as the Rams’ director of college scouting. Now ,that’s not to say that any Goff trade would necessarily involve the Lions; considering Detroit’s apparent desire to restart, it doesn’t seem that Goff would be a fit in any hypothetical Stafford-to-Los Angeles deal. Still, the connection between the front offices is too obvious to ignore.

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