The Detroit Lions have sent over long term quarterback Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams. This trade was the first significant offseason move in the NFL for the 2021-2022 season. In exchange for Matthew Stafford, the Rams have sent former first pick Jared Goff, a third-round pick in the 2021 draft, a first-round pick in the 2022 draft, and a first-round pick in the 2023 draft.
When they first saw the trade, most people believed the Rams gave up too much for a 32-year-old quarterback. First-round draft picks have never shown too much importance to the Rams organization when bringing in proven talent via trade. The Rams previously traded their First-round picks in 2020 and 2021 and a fourth-rounder for 2021 for Jalen Ramsey. The last first-round pick the Rams made came back in 2016 when they selected Jared Goff.
The main reason the Rams gave up so much to acquire Stafford and get rid of Goff was his contract. By trading Goff, the Lions inherit the four years 106.6 million dollars remaining on Goff’s contract. Although this means the Rams carry 22.2 million dollars in dead cap for 2021.
What Does This Mean For Both Teams?
Los Angeles Rams
For the Los Angeles Rams, this trade means Superbowl or bust. That means they are going all-in with the roster they have currently to make the Superbowl. The Rams’ last Superbowl appearance came in Super Bowl 53 in a 13-3 loss to the New England Patriots. Jared Goff and head coach Sean McVay, since the Superbowl loss, have had a bit of a shaken relationship. Having back-to-back nine-win seasons following their Super Bowl run, Goff hasn’t been playing the same since.
During the season of their Super Bowl run, Goff threw for 32 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. In 2019, Goff threw for 22 touchdowns and 16 interceptions, and over the course of this 2020 season, Goff threw for only 20 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. With Goff’s playing level deteriorating, the Rams did not believe it is time to look for a new and unproven quarterback through the draft. Instead, they traded for a proven one and give the Superbowl another shot.
For the Detroit Lions, this trade only means one thing, and that is continuing the rebuild. Since 1990, the Lions have only won their division twice. Acquiring two future first-round picks and a third-round pick for this year’s draft gives the Lions time to build their franchise from the ground up.
Goff is a former first pick in the draft and has previously been to a Superbowl. Although Goff’s playing hasn’t been as good since then, Detroit is a change of scenery, and that might be the thing Goff needs to fix his play. If Goff does not play at the level Detroit would like him to, they will most likely trade him for some draft capital and continue to rebuild.