Blockbuster: Jared Goff, Matthew Stafford Trade Evaluation
Trading away the future?
The Super Bowl has not yet taken place, and this can’t be ratified yet, but the Jared Goff-Matthew Stafford trade is a big one.
Multiple media outlets reported on Saturday, January 30 that Jared Goff was the key haul in a Matthew Stafford trade to the Los Angeles Rams. For trading their franchise quarterback, the Detroit Lions also got a host of draft picks.
Jared Goff-Matthew Stafford Trade Details
Detroit will receive Jared Goff, the number one overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft out of Cal. This is in addition to a third-round pick this spring as well as first-round picks in 2022 and 2023.
Matthew Stafford will become the new face of the Rams. Stafford was the number one overall pick in 2009 out of Georgia, and played the first 12 years of his NFL career in Detroit.
As an aside the Los Angeles Rams have not had a first-round pick that they made since their first year back in Southern California. They are not slated to have one again until 2024, unless they trade that one away, too. Their 2021 pick went to the Jaguars in the Jalen Ramsey trade.
Who “Won” The Trade?
This is always such a loaded question, but we are the ones who asked it of ourselves, so we will answer it. Truly, nobody will know until years have passed.
If you are the Rams, you got a franchise quarterback who can put up video game numbers throwing the football. This is a player in Stafford who has thrown 282 touchdown passes, putting him 16th on the all-time NFL list. Unfortunately for him, he played for four different head coaches in that time and went 0-3 in the postseason.
What might be more valuable is the draft pick haul for the Lions, including a third-rounder this year and the Rams’ next two first-rounders. If the Rams are decent, this means they are unlikely to be low picks, but this will open them up to additional top talent in the coming years, or they could use the extra picks to spin into other trade deals.
What can Goff do for the Lions? One one hand, you might say Detroit needs someone who’s won playoff games, given that the last time they did, Wayne Fontes was working his magic. However, Goff has only been in six playoff games himself, including two this year. It’s experience, but not a key selling point. Goff is more than capable of putting up numbers of his own, though the interceptions have been high the past two seasons.
Rams Thinking Big
In Los Angeles, they are making a win-now play. It had better pay off for them because they gave up quite a bit for it. Stafford is capable and he should be able to light up the stat sheet. Sean McVay is a bright young offensive mind (who is barely older than Stafford) and should be of help to him.
However, Stafford is also on the wrong side of 30, has never won a playoff game, and the Rams won’t have a first-round pick until 2024. Because of the price they paid to work out the Matthew Stafford trade, let’s put it this way: the goal is not going to be “Wild Card Weekend or bust.” The level of expectation has been set and anything less than contending to win the NFC will be a great disappointment.
There is no downside here for the Detroit Lions. You got a younger quarterback who was also a top overall pick, you got three consequential draft picks, and your rebuilding team is not going to be any worse in 2021 than it would have been with Stafford. As for the Rams, they must win now.