Detroit Lions: Jared Goff is nothing more than a placeholder

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /

It didn’t take newly appointed Detroit Lions General Manager (GM) Brad Holmes long to make his presence felt with his new franchise.  Ironically, Holmes may have also done his former organization a solid along the way.

The Detroit Lions are shipping franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford out West to the L.A. Rams, where he will join forces with a dynamic play-caller in Sean McVay.  Detroit landed a significant return, rightfully so, taking on the massive contract of Jared Goff.

The Rams received Stafford, Detroit landed a pair of first-round draft picks plus a third-round choice along with Goff.  The Rams didn’t have a 2021 first-round pick, which somewhat complicated things, but Detroit landed a first-round pick in 2022, another in 2023.  The third-rounder included in the deal is for the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft.

There are some obvious ties here.

Brad Holmes knows Goff very well.  It was Holmes that initially went to bat for Goff, pleading with the Rams front office to trade up and draft the Cal product.  Looking at that, I’m not sure that is something Holmes wants to hitch his wagon to.  I will say this though, Goff has played in big games, he’s won big games, but he’s also looked flat out atrocious at times.

As much as fans like to pile on Stafford for failing to earn a single playoff win over his 12-year career to date, Goff has played in a Super Bowl.

Jared Goff is nothing but a placeholder at the quarterback position for the Detroit Lions.

Detroit was able to land a pair of first-round picks as a kicker to absorb Goff’s four-year $134 million contract.  It’s a deal that is not as bad as it appears on the outside.  After two years, the Detroit Lions have an out if they’d like to choose that route.

Goff’s dead cap number in 2021 will be a whopping $43 million; that number significantly drops to $15 million in 2022 and disappears in the final two years of the contract.  So if Goff fails to impress, the organization and its fans only need to really stomach two years of Goff before cutting him, which will cost the team nothing and save $25 million against the cap in 2023 and $26 million in 2024.

After throwing for 32 touchdowns in 2018, Goff has regressed in each of the last two seasons.  This past year Goff threw for 3,952 yards, 20 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions.  Despite struggling at times, Goff did complete a career-high 67% of his passing attempts in 2020.

Now, the Lions have created an abundance of opportunities for themselves in the coming months.  Detroit now has five first-round picks over the next three years.  I wouldn’t rule out Holmes packaging a few of these first-rounders together in hopes of moving up into the top three in the 2021 draft to select their quarterback of the future.

Also, while unlikely, Holmes may find a trade partner for Goff.  With all of the quarterback chaos that’s sure to unfold this offseason, maybe Holmes can fleece a second or a third-round pick from Indianapolis or Washington for Goff?

Next. Strong staff provides hope for post-Stafford life. dark

If Holmes ever wanted a statue or a street named in his honor, flip Goff for more draft capital, and we’ll do the rest.