Jared Goff

Rams To Pick Up Jared Goff’s Fifth-Year Option

One of a few 2016 first-round picks with fairly open-and-shut fifth-year option decisions, Jared Goff will soon see his rookie contract extended to 2020.

The Rams plan to pick up their two-time Pro Bowl quarterback’s fifth-year option, Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times writes. This will tie Goff to a $22.783MM 2020 salary.

Goff became extension-eligible this year, joining 2016 No. 2 overall pick Carson Wentz in that regard. While the Eagles are hoping to extend Wentz this year, the Rams have not discussed a Goff re-up yet. Both teams have plenty of high-priced veterans, though the Rams have higher-profile deals on their payroll due to their 2018 extensions for Aaron Donald, Todd Gurley and Brandin Cooks.

Not on my mind at all,” Goff said, via Klein, of an extension. “I know the deal and understand that I hired an agent for that reason, and things always work out. You continue to play well, it will work itself out.”

It is possible the Rams ($5.4MM in cap space) could table Goff’s extension until after the 2019 season, but after ’19, Patrick Mahomes becomes eligible for a new deal. His next contract will raise the bar higher than Russell Wilson‘s did. While Goff has not accomplished what Mahomes has, from an individual perspective, he does have two Pro Bowl seasons and is only going into his age-25 campaign.

The 2016 No. 1 overall pick set new benchmarks with 4,688 passing yards and 32 touchdown throws last season, the yardage a near-1,000-yard spike from his 2017 figure. Sean McVay indicated recently he is pleased with Goff’s career track, despite the Los Angeles starter’s shaky Super Bowl outing.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Goff, Rams, AAF, Ryan, CFL

It’s been a rollercoaster of a ride for Jared Goff these past few years. The first overall pick back in 2016, a lot of people wrote him off as a bust after his disastrous rookie season. But Goff came alive once he was paired with head coach Sean McVay, and has now made the Pro Bowl each of the last two seasons. This past season, the Rams made it all the way to the Super Bowl but Goff had a terrible performance in the big game. There’s been a lot of debate the past couple of years about how much of Goff’s improvement was due to his own natural development versus how much of it was due to McVay’s coaching.

As such, there have been some rumors that the Rams aren’t completely sold on Goff as the longterm answer. McVay openly stating last month that the team wasn’t in any rush to extend Goff did nothing to quiet those rumors. But during a recent appearance on The Rich Eisen show, McVay pushed back on that perception, saying Goff doesn’t have to prove he’s “the man.” “I think he’s already the man. I think he’s had a lot of moments,” McVay said. “His teammates believe in him, his coaches believe in him. I think it’s just continuing to do what you do at a higher level. It’s ‘can I continue to make great decisions? Can I continue to make throws with accuracy and anticipation?’ I think the thing that was great about him really from the first year we were together to last year is the ownership. We talk about the quarterback being an extension of the coaching staff and I think he did that.”

McVay made it clear he’s happy with Goff’s progression, and tried to extinguish any talk about the team potentially moving on down the line. It would be a major surprise if anything other than Goff getting a huge extension happens.

Here’s more from around the football universe:

  • We have some more fallout from the demise of the AAF. Daryl Johnston, the former Cowboys fullback and commentator, was the general manage of the San Antonio Commanders, and now he’s dishing on what went down. Johnston said during a recent appearance on ESPN Radio that he and others were “misled” by the league’s founders about the financial stability of the startup, per Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com. “There were several people who took jobs with the Alliance because they were told they had two years, and they’re in a very difficult spot now at this stage. This was something that caught me totally by surprise,” Johnston said. Johnston also said there are multiple San Antonio businesses who have so far been stiffed on payments they’re owed, and that Bill Polian called him out of the blue on the day the league ceased operations and told him to immediately shutdown practice.
  • As much as Johnston might want to put the chapter behind him, it might not be that simple for him. In a follow-up to that piece, Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com writes that Johnston could now become a “key witness” in the multiple lawsuits that have been filed against the league. Florio writes that Johnston’s comments seemed to confirm the crux of the lawsuits, that the league’s founders lied about their financial standing. This surely isn’t the last we’ve heard of this process.
  • Free agent punter Jon Ryan might be getting back into professional football, but not in the NFL. The Seahawks’ punter for ten years from 2008-2017, Ryan had a workout with the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL this past week, according to Rod Pedersen, the team’s announcer (Twitter link). Ryan was released by Seattle last August and signed with the Bills, but couldn’t crack Buffalo’s roster.

Rams Yet To Discuss Jared Goff Extension

Having played three seasons, Jared Goff is now extension-eligible. But the Rams’ payroll, after a busy 2018, includes a few top-market contracts — a payroll option aided by Goff still being tied to his rookie deal.

It can be expected for the Rams to sign Goff long-term, but at the moment, the franchise has not seriously discussed this. They have not ruled out a 2019 extension for Goff, but it doesn’t seem to be a front-burner issue right now.

Jared’s obviously extremely important to us. But those are things that, we know we want to get him done at some point,” Sean McVay said (via the Los Angeles Times’ Gary Klein, on Twitter). “Whether it happens this year, next year, those are things we haven’t really gotten into in depth about yet.”

The Rams last year authorized their big-ticket extensions late in the summer, with Brandin Cooks, Todd Gurley and Aaron Donald agreeing to new deals between July 17 and August 31 of last year. So, the team may be tabling this until that point on the calendar. However, Goff could be under Rams control for $8.9MM this season under the terms of his current contract. The Rams have $5.4MM in cap space.

This comes at a time when the Eagles are eyeing a 2019 extension for Carson Wentz, who was taken one pick after Goff in 2016. While a Goff extension would be proactive, with deals for Wentz, Patrick Mahomes and others set to reshape a market that has already changed significantly over the past year. The Rams waited until Donald’s fifth-year option season to finalize a second contract for the all-world defender. Gurley, though, had two years of team control remaining at the time of his signing.

Goff did not fare well in Super Bowl LIII but set new career-high marks with 4,688 passing yards, 32 touchdown passes and a 65.4 QBR during the regular season. The yardage and QBR figures are far north of his 2017 Pro Bowl season’s numbers. Another strong season would raise the 24-year-old passer’s stock further.

Jeff Fisher On Rams’ Success, Jared Goff, Coaching Record

Jeff Fisher‘s name has resurfaced recently as coaching changes are set to commence. The multi-decade sideline veteran wants another chance as a head coach. Fisher is eager to “salvage his legacy” and has already begun contacting potential staff members in the event he does receive the keys to a third NFL franchise.

The former Rams and Oilers/Titans leader said during a radio interview he had “a lot to do with” assembling the roster Sean McVay has on the cusp of an NFC West championship.

I have no regrets whatsoever,” Fisher said on Nashville’s 104.5-FM (via Rich Hammond of the Los Angeles Daily News). “I am a huge fan of the Rams players. They’re basically — I don’t want to say my players — but I had a lot to do with that roster. Left them in pretty good shape, and Sean, as he has shown in a short period of time, is an outstanding young coach, and he’s got the offense going, which was needed.”

The core of this Rams roster — Aaron Donald, Jared Goff, Todd Gurley, Trumaine Johnson and Co. — arrived during Fisher and Les Snead‘s four-plus-year run together. However, the veteran coach couldn’t steer the Rams into the playoffs. They are likely to snap a 13-year drought. Fisher traced some of his struggles back to Sam Bradford‘s ACL tears in 2013 and ’14, when the team ended up going 7-9 and 6-10, respectively.

We were making progress and the team was deprived,” Fisher said. “It was deprived of talent. So we started building. The next year, our quarterback tears his ACL. The next year, our quarterback tears his ACL again.”

A Fisher-led team has not made the playoffs since the 2008 Titans. That drought — an eight-season hiatus — helped tie Fisher with Dan Reeves for the most losses in NFL history by a coach. The Rams fired him before he could potentially set the record. At 173-165-1, Fisher has the 12th-most wins in NFL history.

My perspective is different because I went through it and I know exactly what I went through,” Fisher said. “I get a kick out of people (saying), ‘Oh, you just tied Dan Reeves for most losses in the history of the National Football League.’ Well, I’m a few wins away from being in the top 10. So, where do you want to emphasize? What’s your point?

Two different franchises, five different cities, six different stadiums. Not an easy thing to do. The Chargers moved from San Diego to Orange County and started 0-4 (this season). Relocation is huge. And I’m not making excuses.”

Lastly, Fisher addressed Goff’s progress under McVay. Fisher kept fellow 2017 breakout performer Case Keenum in over Goff for several games last season, one that did not go well for Goff — or just about any Rams offensive player involved a league-worst attack — but said he kept the No. 1 pick on the bench for protection purposes.

All through it, I was thinking about the best interests of the franchise, not myself,” Fisher said. “If I was worried about myself, I probably would have started him from day one and said, ‘Hey, this guy is going to be a better player.’ That was his rookie year, so we could chalk (struggles) up to a rookie year, but no, I wanted to do what was best for Jared.

Rams GM Les Snead Discusses McVay, Goff, Offseason

It’s already been a busy offseason for the Rams, as the front office made a number of coaching moves that should bring some excitement to Los Angeles. The organization didn’t only make Sean McVay the youngest head coach in modern NFL history, but they also added Wade Phillips as their defensive coordinator.

Les SneadOf course, general manager Les Snead‘s job isn’t done. There are plenty of question marks when it comes to next year’s roster, and the executive will start solidifying his squad in the coming weeks.

In anticipation of the offseason, Snead sat down with Gary Klein of The Los Angeles Times. The executive discussed his new head coach, his plan for the offseason, and former number-one pick Jared Goff. The whole interview is worth reading, but we grabbed some notable quotes below…

On how it’s been working with Sean McVay:

“Exciting, because you see the young head coach but you also see him bring this unbelievable energy and passion to the job with that thought of how he wants to put together his staff and the puzzle there and what he’s trying to accomplish. … You’re working together to problem-solve, come up with solutions, come up with decisions and try to come up with what’s best for the Rams…. You can feel the chemistry developing based on just rolling up your sleeves and going to work and making your first decisions together.”

On his expectation for quarterback Jared Goff, last year’s first-overall pick:

“What he went through is only going to be positive in the future. It goes back to experience. … He knows what it’s like now. … What you got back is a very poised player — and adversity doesn’t rattle him. … Looking forward to seeing him grow because he’s felt and seen Sean come in and implement his offense, and Sean is really big on the quarterback. Jared’s chomping at the bit.”

On the team’s team-building strategy heading into the draft and free agency:

“I don’t know if I want to tell you exactly because it might tip hands, but I think philosophically I can tell you it’s probably, duh, right? We’ve got to figure out how to improve the offense and how that looks and what position groups you start attacking first. We want to move the ball, we want to get first downs and we want to score points. That’s going to be addressed at all angles.”

On how the team is going to approach their wideout depth (Kenny Britt and Brian Quick are set to hit free agency):

“It’s interesting with the receiving group because we already know a good bit about what Sean would like in his receivers. They’ve been described many times like a basketball team. And what that means is you probably don’t field five point guards, five shooting guards. …. With our pending UFAs I think it’s very safe to say we’ve got to sit down with the offensive group and see what they bring to the table and do they exactly fit us with the guys that are already on the team.”

On the status of cornerback Trumaine Johnson, who was slapped with the franchise tag last offseason:

“That will be a big decision. Wade, like a lot of [defensive coordinators], likes good players on the outside. Trumaine fits that category…. Trumaine is a larger guy with good ball skills and all things like that. Is it a square in a square, a triangle in a triangle or more a rectangle in a square? … That’s probably one of the top priorities when Wade walks in the door because, obviously, the magnitude of what his contract will look like and the magnitude of what another franchise tag looks like and everything in between.”

Jeff Fisher Discusses Firing, Extension, Jared Goff

It’s been less than a week since Jeff Fisher was fired as the head coach of the Los Angeles Rams. Since then, we’ve heard plenty of rumors regarding potential replacements, but we haven’t heard anything from Fisher himself.

Until today. The long-time coach sat down with Fox Sports’ Charissa Thompson to discuss the firing, his two-year extension with the franchise, and the selection of rookie quarterback Jared Goff during this past year’s draft. We’ve compiled all of those quotes below:

Jeff Fisher (vertical)On why he was ultimately fired: 

“Bottom line is I didn’t win. I didn’t win enough games. In a new market, that’s important and I’ll take responsibility for that.”

On whether he was surprised by the firing:

“I had just recently signed an extension. I knew things were getting tough, I knew that, but I didn’t anticipate this. I always thought, depending on what happens the last three weeks, that there may be that potential with the season being over, but I was a little caught off guard with the short week.”

On that two-year extension, which was reported in early December despite being signed during the offseason:

“It was never my place to announce the extension, so somehow it got out. So then that became an issue. None of it was handled appropriately in my opinion. In this day and age, the successful teams in the National Football League are tight-knit, they work together, and they stay quiet. They don’t leak things. That was a frustration of mine.”

On whether the draft choice of Jared Goff was his own:

“Yes. It was our choice. It was unanimous. We went up [in the draft] to be in position to get that quarterback that we needed.”

On why the team waited until late November to start the rookie:

“We did not want to rush Jared. I made the decision prior to the Jet game, in which we won, to go ahead and start Jared the next week. He’s an outstanding young man and he’ll be the face of this franchise.”

On the Rams’ offensive woes:

“I have to take responsibility from the coaching side in that we just didn’t get it done, bottom line. When you’re 32nd in the league in offense every year, there’s an issue.”

On what he ultimately wants going forward:

“I want a chance to play the Rams.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Rams To Start Jared Goff

The future is now in Los Angeles. The Rams are starting Jared Goff on Sunday, according to Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The team informed Goff and previous starter Case Keenum in a meeting this morning. Jared Goff

Over the weekend, it was reported that Keenum would likely be given the hook if he struggled against the Jets on Sunday. After the 9-6 victory, coach Jeff Fisher refused to blame Keenum for the unproductive offensive showing.

I don’t believe it’s the quarterback play,” Fisher said. “I think it’s collectively. It’s always a possibility when [Goff’s] time comes. But I thought Case did a nice job.”

Keenum didn’t throw any interceptions against Gang Green, but he also didn’t throw any touchdowns. Even though Fisher did not hammer Keenum for his play, it appears that the team is not content with treading water at the QB position. Goff is green, but it’s not as though Keenum has been setting the world on fire with his play. The Rams will turn it over to the No. 1 overall pick with an eye on winning this season and evaluating their future.

Goff’s first test comes against the Dolphins who have rebounded from a 1-4 start with a four game winning streak. They are now above the .500 mark, though they have allowed 364.3 yards per game to opposing offenses. In terms of pass defense, Miami has surrendered only 235.6 yards per game, which actually puts them in the top ten.

Photo via PFR on Instagram.

Jared Goff Could Start Next Week

We heard just last week that Rams rookie signal-caller Jared Goff was unlikely to start a game in the near future, or at least until the team was officially eliminated from playoff contention. Head coach Jeff Fisher implied that Goff was simply not ready to be thrust into game action, and as poorly as incumbent starter Case Keenum has played, it seemed as if his job would be safe for a few more weeks.

Jared Goff

Today, however, ESPN’s Adam Schefter passes along a rather different report. Per Schefter, if Keenum struggles this week against the Jets, Los Angeles could give Goff the nod as early as next week’s matchup with the Dolphins. The Rams are hosting Miami next week, and LA wants to give Goff his first start at home in front of a friendly and supportive crowd. The decision has not been set in stone, and Keenum can apparently hang on to the starting job if he performs well against the Jets.

The odds of that, however, seem slim. In his second season with the Rams, who sit at 3-5 as losers of four straight, Keenum has completed 61.5 percent of his passes for 2,004 yards, with nine touchdowns and 11 interceptions in eight games. He ranks last in the league in Total QBR (39.6) among qualified starters.

Those struggles have understandably led to calls for Goff, this year’s No. 1 overall draft pick, to get his shot. Several weeks ago, reports indicated that Goff had made progress in terms of learning the offense, and now he may get a chance to show what he has learned on a national stage.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Dolphins, Broncos, Goff

Some assorted notes from around the NFL as we wrap up this Wednesday evening…

  • Dolphins defensive coordinator Vance Joseph attributes defensive end Andre Branch‘s production to the player’s impending free agency. Joseph told Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald that Branch is hoping to get “paid,” thus explaining the uptick in production (Twitter link). Through eight games, the 27-year-old has 20 tackles and three sacks.
  • The Broncos worked out fullback Sione Houma today, reports Nick Underhill of The Advocate (via Twitter). The undrafted rookie was cut by the Saints in late August. The Broncos lone fullback, rookie Andy Janovich, has four carries for 33 yards and a touchdown this season.
  • Broncos defensive end Derek Wolfe will be out at least two weeks as he recovers from a hairline fracture in his right elbow, reports Cameron Wolfe of the Denver Post. The defensive lineman is second on the team with 4.5 sacks this season, and he’s also chipped in 30 tackles. The team will be forced to rely on Billy Winn and Adam Gotsis in Wolfe’s absence, and the team could consider promoting Vontarrius Dora from the practice squad.
  • Following news that Rams rookie quarterback Jared Goff was unlikely to start in the near future, Hall of Famer Cris Carter blasted the top-overall pick in an interview with Colin Cowherd on Fox Sports Radio. “The guys know he can’t play,” Carter said (via John Breech of CBSSports.com). “They messed this pick up.”

Jared Goff Unlikely To Start In Near Future

Speaking to the media today, Rams head coach Jeff Fisher announced that Case Keenum will remain the club’s starting quarterback, according to Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com (Twitter links). Moreover, first overall pick Jared Goff is unlikely to start for Los Angeles until the team is eliminated from postseason contention, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.Jared Goff (vertical)

[RELATED: Los Angeles Rams Depth Chart]

“I know everybody wants to talk about it, and that’s the big question,” said Fisher. “Again, he’s going to play. Whether it’s the following week, or the following week, or what have you. It’s eventually going to happen. But big picture, as I keep saying, this is about making sure he’s ready to go out there and be sharp and give us a chance to win. The quarterback position is not easy.”

The Rams won’t turn to Goff barring an “epic collapse” from Keenum, according to Rapoport, although it could be argued that Keenum’s four interception game against the Giants in Week 8 was just that. Keenum turned in another poor result on Sunday, completing only 27 of 46 attempts for 296 yards, one touchdown, and one interception as Los Angeles fell to Carolina. For the season, Keenum has completed 61.5% of his passes for nine scores and 11 interceptions.

At 3-5, the Rams aren’t particularly close to falling out of playoff contention — they currently sit behind the Seahawks (4-2-1 heading into tonight’s game) and the Cardinals (3-4-1) in the NFC West. But their chances are certainly slim, as Football Outsiders gave Los Angeles only a 10.7% chance of making the postseason before yesterday’s loss. Still, it doesn’t appear as though Goff is set to enter the starting lineup any time soon.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.