Saturday night, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Lions were trading Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams for Jared Goff, two future first-round picks and a third-round pick.
Detroit is dealing QB Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for two future first-round picks, a third-round pick and QB Jared Goff, per sources. Two former No. 1 overall picks trading places in the first blockbuster NFL trade of 2021.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 31, 2021
Stafford, reports indicated, had preferred to land in Los Angeles, so the move helps him out as well as Brad Holmes’ former team when it will become official in the new league year in March. For Detroit, the Lions get a young quarterback who is still in his prime as well as multiple first round picks, which can only help the Lions in their restructure.
Now that Stafford is in Los Angeles, he will get his ready-made contender and should be able to have a great chance at winning. Goff will join a young team that isn’t devoid of weaponry and could also be better than many think in 2021 though most consider the Lions to be in the midst of a rebuild. Goff was far from terrible in 2020 with 3,952 yards and 20 touchdowns through the air.
When the deal is made official, it’s tough to see how Detroit hasn’t made out with this move.
Anatomy of Lions’ Matthew Stafford Trade With Rams
With the Rams over the cap and having Jared Goff’s deal on the books, it seemed there might be limited avenues to a trade between the teams. The Rams would have to give up a first-round pick in 2022 to start talks, and would probably have to give up picks from their 2023 draft as well to make up the difference. That’s what the Lions ended up getting in the end, though nobody knows what year the picks will come from at this point in time. Many thought Detroit might not be likely to want Goff, who is 26 but is being given up on in Los Angeles quite easily at this point in time. It’s clear the Lions consider Goff a part of their future or a placeholder as well for a few seasons.
If the Lions want Goff and Holmes wants to use him as a quarterback of the future in Detroit, there was a chance the teams could work out some type of agreement. Obviously, this is what happened in this scenario when all was said and done.
Matthew Stafford’s 2020 Stats
Even before this news, it always seemed that the future of Stafford was going to become a big talking point for the Lions given the changes within the front office and at head coach. The past regime, led by Bob Quinn, remained loyal to Stafford but the shakeup always seemed it would leave his future firmly up in the air. That’s especially true given the fact that ownership has essentially deferred the decision to the new staff once they come to town. Combined with Stafford’s own desire to leave town, it seems that an easy consensus was reached.
During the 2020 season, Stafford didn’t have the type of season that will wow many folks statistically. He threw 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions with 4,084 passing yards. He’s had good games and average games, but has shown the toughness that has come to define his tenure. To that end, he will be missed now that he’s departing the Lions.
This blockbuster deal is sure to send shockwaves through the NFL both for the cost and the magnitude of the players involved.