After the Lions drafted one of the more high-profile quarterbacks in this year’s class, questions were raised regarding the long-term future of Jared Goff in Detroit. A new deal keeping him in place could be on the horizon, though.
During an appearance on 97.1 WXYT-FM, general manager Brad Holmes confirmed that extension talks have begun between the team and Goff’s representatives. “Yeah, we’ve had internal dialogue there,” Holmes said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “We’ve had dialogue with his agent and we’re in a good place right now.”
Goff, 28, earned a Pro Bowl nod in 2022 for his impressive performance in guiding the Lions to a late-season push for a playoff spot. The former first overall pick posted his highest passer rating since 2018, and went nine straight games to close out the campaign without throwing an interception. However, he is only under contract for two more seasons (at cap hits of $30.975MM and $31.975MM), and the absence of guarantees in 2024 would make it easy for the team to move on that year.
For that reason, many have pointed to this season as being Goff’s last in the Motor City. Prior to the draft, no talks had taken place regarding an extension, which seemed to leave the door open to an eventual successor being drafted. The Lions did indeed add a signal-caller, selecting Hendon Hooker in the third round after a somewhat surprising fall down the board. The Tennessee product generated first-round buzz but was expected to hear his name called no later than the second round.
Hooker is coming off a torn ACL which will limit his availability as a rookie. That will hinder his acclimation to the pro game, something which is of particular concern considering his age (25) upon arrival in the NFL. Holmes confirmed that the reigning SEC Offensive Player of the Year will essentially have a redshirt campaign as the No. 3 quarterback in 2023.
“Obviously he’ll be a rookie and he’s going to have to transition into playing in a different type of scheme, but we’re really excited about his upside, so how NFL ready are a lot of quarterbacks that you acquire?” Holmes added. “And that’s just part of the normal development process and again, just a testament of I think we have the right situation for him, just to come and sit back, see how Jared and [backup] Nate [Sudfeld] do things and just develop.”
Expectations will be raised for the Lions’ offense, which added running back Jahmyr Gibbs in the first round – later than they were willing to draft him – this season. Another strong campaign from Goff could make his financial situation even more interesting (and the team’s decision with him more difficult), especially with his potential replacement now in the fold.