Super Bowl Winning Coach ‘Shocked’ by Lions’ Return for Matthew Stafford

Jon Gruden

Getty Jon Gruden before a Raiders game.

The Detroit Lions pulled off a massive trade nearly a week ago, landing Jared Goff from the Los Angeles Rams in addition to a collection of draft picks. While the deal may have been surprising enough for fans, it even went so far as to shock some coaches.

One such person was Las Vegas Raiders’ head coach Jon Gruden. In the aftermath of the deal while sitting down with Pro Football Focus, Gruden was asked about the blockbuster trade of Matthew Stafford and admitted to surprise about the move even though the Rams are clearly going all-in with their new quarterback.

Gruden said:

“I was surprised, I thought it was player for player, that’s what I initially thought. I was shocked at the compensation, honestly. But I’m really surprised with what the Rams have been able to do. They give Todd Gurley a big contract, a year later he’s gone. They give Brandin Cooks a big contract, a year later he’s gone. They give Jared Goff a new contract, a year later he’s gone. They obviously have a very interesting static. They have an owner that obviously allows a lot of these things to happen.”

It’s tough to hear Gruden’s thoughts and not think that the coach is a bit leery of such a deal from the Rams perspective given what the team gave up. Trading not only a young quarterback but multiple picks represents a risk, and that’s something Gruden seems keenly aware of. He’s been around the league long enough to know, and in this trade, he sees a shockingly good deal from the Detroit perspective.

Mike Tannenbaum: Matthew Stafford Trade Risky for Rams

Former NFL general manager Mike Tannenbaum appeared on Get Up this past week and was asked about the blockbuster deal. While he admitted to understanding why the Rams made the trade, he said his reservation about the move is due to the fact that the front office is now facing plenty of pressure to nail all of their other decisions and is now operating in a tight window with regards to everything they will do. He also added it was a reckless move to go without multiple first-round picks.

Tannenbaum said:

“They have zero margin for error. It’s reckless and irresponsible to go eight years without a first-round pick. You have great core players, Aaron Donald (and) Jalen Ramsey, but if any of them get hurt, it’s over. I’m not so sure when you look at the skill players from Detroit in 2020 like Kenny Golladay (and) Marvin Jones and going to Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp that it’s even that much better, and then when you layer on top of that you have to keep good young players like Josh Johnson, Troy Hill, Leonard Floyd. You have a very small window with no margin of error. I think this is a really risky move. I don’t know if they’re better than Tampa, I don’t know if they’re better than Green Bay.”

The Rams gave up plenty to get Stafford into the mix, so they will be faced with a tough cap situation as well as a spot in which the team may not be able to keep their young stars or add more to the mix with more savvy trades. Essentially, it’s Stafford-or-bust for the next few seasons in Los Angeles. While the quarterback is talented, Tannenbaum isn’t wrong to present this side of the case and wonder about the future of the Rams.

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Lions Should Be Thrilled With Matthew Stafford Trade

The Lions did about as well as could be expected in the Stafford trade, not only getting a top young quarterback who’s won a ton in the league and been to a Super Bowl, but a pair of first-round picks in the years ahead as well as a third-round selection this season. With this return in mind, it’s obvious the Lions did as well as they could hope to do with the Stafford trade and even went above and beyond with the return according to some.

For folks like Gruden and Tannenbaum to be impressed yet also questioning the deal from the Los Angeles perspective should tell fans all they need to know about the merits of the trade.

READ NEXT: Lions Reportedly Turned Down Massive AFC Offer for Matthew Stafford

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