Coming into the 2022 offseason, the Detroit Lions had a choice to make. Would they pull the plug on Jared Goff after one unbalanced season at the helm of the team, or stick with the quarterback for the new year?
With some of the moves that were made, the Lions showed their hand on Goff quickly. It long appeared as if the team was going to stay with him, and when they re-signed wide receivers Josh Reynolds and Kalif Raymond as well as adding DJ Chark, it looked clear the team wanted to give Goff capable weaponry. When they re-signed Tim Boyle and David Blough, it seemed a virtual lock that they would go into the season with Goff at the helm once more.
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Then, the NFL draft was around the corner. With it brought a tantalizing mix of players at the quarterback position, however inconsistent they may be. Detroit took a close look at names like Kenny Pickett, Malik Willis and Sam Howell before electing to pass on the class as a whole and kick the quarterback can down the road to 2023 at the earliest.
Listening to general manager Brad Holmes speak post-draft, it is now clear that was a part of the plan all along and moving on from Goff or adding to the position seriously was never really in the cards. Holmes confirmed this while speaking on 97.1 The Ticket on Tuesday, May 3. Joseph Chapp was listening and provided some context as to Holmes’ thoughts on Twitter.
“Lions Brad Holmes on 97.1 The Ticket, Said “We wanted to give Jared the best chance to succeed” and “We know we can with him,” Chapp tweeted.
Those thoughts echo what Holmes had said in a roundabout way earlier in the offseason, when he had admitted that he believed Goff had the goods to deliver for the team, who had full confidence in him.
The Lions seem happy to have Goff, and think he can deliver for them given the presence of a healthier running game and offensive line in 2022. With the weapons Detroit added, they might be even more confident in Goff eventually finding his footing and delivering results comparable to his third season in the NFL, when he threw for 4,688 yards and 32 touchdowns with a solid cast of characters around him in Los Angeles.
Essentially, this statement should put any outside questions about Goff on hold until 2023.
Holmes Adds Context to Jameson Williams Trade
A big way the Lions elected to help Goff was to try and find him another elite receiver. Detroit was strongly interested in a deal for disgruntled wideout Deebo Samuel, but when they were rebuffed by San Francisco, they facilitated one of the bolder moves of the 2022 draft in trading up for Alabama speedster Jameson Williams. Like building around Goff, going in on Williams was the top priority for the Lions in the event they were coming up the board. While on 97.1, Holmes confirmed this fact as well.
“Lions GM Brad Holmes on 97.1 The Ticket on Jameson Williams: “He was the best wide receiver for us.” Confirms Williams was the No. 1 target if they were going to trade up,” Chapp tweeted.
Detroit did trade up and secured some solid value in the deal. They also landed Williams, a player many believe could be the best wideout in the draft. Whether Williams is ready for the 2022 season on time due to injury will be the variable to watch now, but he’s in the picture in the Motor City for the long-haul. He may even be able to benefit his new quarterback Goff quickly in 2022.
Goff Proclaimed Veteran Winner of 2022 Draft
For all these reasons, Goff should feel pretty relaxed and confident now. The quarterback didn’t see a rookie get added to the mix at his position, which means he will to cruise into the offseason workout period with the familiar Boyle and Blough as his running mates at the position. That’s a throwback from the 2021 season when exactly the same names were on the roster.
As a result of this, Goff is seen as one of Pro Football Focus’s biggest veteran winners from a wild draft weekend in terms of fantasy potential. Writer Ian Hartitz wrote about why Goff figures to be a sneaky play in 2022 and concluded that is the case because “he’s also suddenly projected to start 17 games after the Lions refrained from adding a single quarterback in the 2022 NFL Draft. He’ll also have two new weapons at his disposal in electric field-stretching wide receiver Jameson Williams and underrated pass-catching tight end James Mitchell.”
In adding Williams and Mitchell at wideout and tight end, the Lions shored up a pair of spots from their 2021 roster that were seen as major needs for the team. Weaponry at wideout was seen as a must in Detroit, and though T.J. Hockenson will be back healthy, a depth tight end was also important. In both of the lone offensive moves, that calculates to an advantage for Goff.
Though PFF is looking at Goff as a winner from a fantasy angle in terms of numbers and players added, it isn’t hard to see how he is an overall winner. Detroit ignored the quarterback position overall during the weekend, and Goff will go into 2022 as the unquestioned starter without a hyped rookie breathing down his neck at all.
Detroit has committed to Goff for the short term, and given him the weapons they feel he needs to succeed. What happens now is all on Goff’s shoulders, but the Lions seem to believe he has a chance to make their big bet on him pay off.
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