We knew the Detroit Lions were set to trade Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams for a pair of first-round picks, a third-round choice, and quarterback Jared Goff for nearly two months. Needless to say, it didn’t take the newly appointed general manager (GM) Brad Holmes long to make his mark on the franchise.
It’s a deal that’s a no-brainer for Detroit Lions, who are entering a wholesale rebuild whether management, coaches, or players choose to use that term or not. The deal provided the organization with several much-needed picks plus presented the team with an experienced starting quarterback.
Here’s what Goff had to say about being dealt from the Rams to Detroit;
"“I think at first, absolutely. I think it builds that chip on your shoulder a little bit,” Goff said. “I won’t lie about that. There is that little extra motivation and chip that you do feel, and again, I am so thankful for all my time there, but yeah, you do feel that. You do feel a little bit of, ‘Hey, let’s see what we can do now.'”“It is a good change,” Goff said. “It’s something I never knew I needed until now, and you kind of come out here and you experience it. … I went downtown for dinner twice this week, and I didn’t know much about Detroit until recently, and being down there [I saw] the stadiums are all on the same block and everything is really close.“It is a sports town, and being able to play in a sports town is special. It’s something that I’m excited about. I know football is king here, and I plan to make it a winner.”"
The majority of the chatter surrounding the deal had been about the draft picks, rightfully so, but Holmes made it known Friday that Goff isn’t just a throw-in. Here’s what Holmes’ had to say;
"“Part of the compensation that we received in the trade, I know a lot of people talk about the picks, but a lot of it was Jared, just the fact that being able to acquire Jared,” Holmes said. “That’s the part that sometimes gets kind of, I don’t want to say gets lost, but OK, the third-round pick and two 1s, but to have Jared.“His résumé speaks for itself. He’s a proven winner. So for him to compete for the starting quarterback position and winning the starting quarterback position, you know, I definitely expect him to reclaim that status.”"
We shouldn’t rule out taking a quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft, but Goff is certainly someone the Detroit Lions can build around if they so choose.
Goff isn’t exactly a liability at the position; sure, he’s not an elite quarterback; he’s a middle-of-the-road talent that is just 26-years old. Perhaps a new start is just what the doctor ordered for the former first-overall selection.
Goff has started 69 games throughout his young career, throwing for 18,171 yards, 107 touchdowns, and 55 interceptions. Goff is a career 63.4% passer but completed 67% of his passing attempts last season. Goff also averages 11.8 yards per completion over his career.
Stafford has a career completion percentage of 62.6% and averages 11.6 yards per completion throughout his career, to give you a comparison.
The eye test will convince you that Stafford is a better player than Goff, but should we expect a significant drop in production when you look at the whole body of work?
There is a chance Goff’s numbers are elevated from playing in Sean McVay’s offensive scheme, and perhaps Stafford had been carrying Detroit’s offense for years but let’s not forget he had some talented playmakers around him too. How about Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate, and Marvin Jones, just to name a few.
Goff should have plenty of extra motivation to start the 2021 season with his new club. Don’t be fooled; he’s read the papers, he’s seen the social media chatter about being the ‘throw-in’ for the deal to make the money work.
I expect Goff to come out and move this Detroit offense and have success doing what Anthony Lynn asks of him. Lynn will surely look to take the pressure off of Goff by utilizing the Detroit Lions’ offensive line and running game, but when Goff needs a big-time conversion, expect him to target his stellar young tight end T.J. Hockenson to move the chains.