The relationship between Jared Goff and the Ram’s front office is hanging on by a thread.
The 5-year veteran has yet to play a single snap of his 4-year extension, but the team may already be looking to move him after a disappointing 2020 season. Goff appeared to be headed in the right direction after the 2018 season saw the Cal product lead his team to the Super Bowl. Instead, the years that have followed have shown a serious drop off in both productivity and overall composure.
Not many questioned the 4-year/$134 million extension back in 2019, especially since Goff was fresh off of his best campaign as a pro and only figured to improve. Since then, however, the former number one pick has had back to back subpar seasons. This past season in particular left much to be desired, as Goff had the third-most interceptions (13) while only ranking 19th in touchdown passes thrown(20).
Since the season’s end, the front office has been less than supportive of their franchise QB, only stopping short of saying that they are ready to ship him out at a moment’s notice. The only problem would be in finding a suitable trade partner, but the situation with Matt Stafford in Detroit might be the perfect opportunity for Les Snead and the Rams.
A Change of Scenery
The current situation in Los Angeles is truly a shame, especially because the talent that made Goff the number one pick is still there. He’s displayed flashes of brilliance, but not nearly often enough to cement him as the future of the team going forward. Head coach Sean McVay has been able to tap into some of that potential, but even he has seemingly gotten frustrated with the quarterback’s inability to show some consistency.
The situation in Detroit isn’t much better, as the team has consistently struggled to surround Stafford with enough talent to be a real contender throughout his career. It’s become a big enough issue that the veteran QB reportedly asked the team to find him a new home for the 2021 season.
In both of these cases, the simplest solution may be a change of scenery. Goff was the number one pick for a reason, but something has kept him from living up to the potential during his time in LA. Stafford, on the other hand, has consistently performed in Detroit. His issue is more so that Detroit doesn’t have enough firepower to compete in the top-heavy NFC North.
Why It Works
The biggest obstacle to moving Jared Goff is the amount of money attached to him. With Goff yet to play out any of his contract extension, not just any team would be willing to take the cap hit that comes with a trade for Goff. With Stafford, however, the numbers add up rather nicely. Jared Goff is set to produce a $34.9 million cap hit next season, compared to the $33 million hit from Stafford’s contract. And while Goff’s contract will run two years longer, both teams have the future cap space to absorb the incoming hits.
With the money not being the issue that it normally is, the only thing left is to give the Lions a reason to make the switch. Rumor has it that the Lions are in search of at least a first-round pick for Stafford, presumably to take their next QB in this year’s NFL Draft. With a package centered around Goff, however, the need for a 2021 first rounder lessens. Instead, the Rams may be able to offer them this year’s 3rd rounder and a 2022 first to seal the deal.
Stafford has clearly played his last snap in Detroit, and the same might be true for Goff in Los Angeles. This doesn’t mean, however, that both players are past their primes. There’s a lot to like for both teams in this deal, and it might be worth exploring in the weeks to come. The Rams could finally find their missing piece while the Lions can build a future around Goff, Swift, and Golladay.