Barry Sanders: Lions Should ‘Feel Good’ About Matthew Stafford Deal

Barry Sanders

Getty Barry Sanders during a Lions game.

The Detroit Lions struck one of the boldest trades in franchise history over the weekend, agreeing to send Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for Jared Goff and a pick haul.

In the days since the trade, there’s been plenty analysis of the move, but we haven’t heard from many with direct ties to the Lions. Former running back Barry Sanders is changing that just a bit. Joining the Dan Patrick Show, Sanders talked about the trade that reverberated around the NFL. As he said, it was a blockbuster, but one the Lions should feel pretty good about given what they were able to acquire.

Sanders said:

“What a blockbuster trade. Hopefully it works out for both. We’re getting a young man who’s played in a lot of big games in a short career and we’ll see what happens. I think we got a lot for it. I mean you look at the picks and I think we came out pretty good. To this point I would say we should feel pretty good about it.”

Indeed, the Lions received a ton in the form of Goff as well as a pair of first-round picks and a third-round pick. They gave up a great quarterback but got a talented one back as well as some major artillery in the form of the draft selections. To this end, it could help their organization take the next step moving forward in terms of the team’s rebuild on the field.

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What Lions Will Get With Jared Goff

Detroit isn’t just getting a pair of first-round draft picks and a third-round pick in the deal, they are getting a quarterback who was in the Super Bowl just two years ago. Goff, a former top pick himself in 2016 out of Cal, has been a dependable player who has won plenty of big games in his career in the rough and tumble NFC West. So far, he’s thrown 107 touchdowns, 55 interceptions, 18,171 yards and has been a two-time Pro Bowler in 2017 and 2018.

Obviously, Goff has had a better defense to work with than Stafford in Los Angeles, which has obviously helped him big time. Still, it’s hard to ignore some of the impressive wins he has been able to put together. Just this postseason, the Rams won a huge road game against the Seattle Seahawks in which Goff was pressed into duty with a thumb injury and delivered a solid performance when the team needed him the most.

Clearly, the Lions are getting a motivated Goff to help lead in their revival, and that could be huge for the team moving forward. It’s something Sanders would likely know given what he already said. Sanders’ point about Goff winning a lot of big games is certainly a good one.

Lions’ Matthew Stafford Trade Was a Haul

Fans and media members can say all they want about the trade’s merits either way, but any time a team can cash in with a couple of first-round picks no matter where they’re located, it’s a solid move. Adding Jared Goff adds a level of intrigue to the deal considering he could still have plenty of good years left and the Lions might view him as part of the solution in Detroit. Adding a third-round pick this season helps the Lions right now, and adds to their firepower early in the draft to find players who can help immediately.

Having an extra first-round pick this year would have helped, but the Lions did right by Stafford, who reportedly wanted to go to the Rams. To this end, everyone is likely happy with the deal on both sides, and that’s all that matters.

As Sanders explains, the Lions should remember to feel good about the trade even as they might be upset they are giving up Stafford.

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