Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is on his way to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for quarterback Jared Goff and a host of draft picks, ESPN sources Adam Schefter said Saturday night.
Lions will receive a third round selection in 2021, a first round selection in 2022, and a first round selection in 2023. This is the first replacement of the previous No. 1 overall selection in the collaborative design era (since 1967). The deal cannot be made official until the beginning of the new league year on March 17th.
According to business news, the Rams’ Super Bowl odds for the 2021 season at Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill rose from +1800 to +1500.
It is the first big step for the new Lions general director Brad Holmes, who was hired earlier this month by the Rams for whom he was the director of college scouting. That was Holmes’ role in moving the Rams from No. 15 picks to Goff first overall in the 2016 NFL Draft and causing a sensation after 21 seasons in St. Louis. The Rams will not make another selection in the first round until at least 2024.
A source told ESPN that the Lions were interested in seven or eight teams offering picks for the first round in compensation for Stafford. While the deal for Goff won’t necessarily prevent the Lions from taking a quarterback in this year’s draft, Goff told ESPN’s Jeff Darlington on Saturday night that he had spoken to new Lions coach Dan Campbell and that Campbell was clear through his message made Goff this in the Lions future plans.
When asked about Detroit’s last game of the 2020 season if he thought it would be his last game with the Lions, Stafford said he didn’t want to get into hypothetical situations. Shortly after the season ended, Stafford went to Rod Wood, president of the Lions team, and mentioned that a deal might be best for both sides.
Stafford, 32, will leave Detroit as the team’s absolute leader in each category. He’s number 16 in the NFL, passing yards (45,109) and touchdowns (282), number 18 on attempts (6,224) and number 14 on completions (3,898). His career passer rating of 89.9 is always number 21, and his 144 interceptions are number 66 all-time with Joe Flacco and Steve Bartkowski.
Stafford is number 4 all-time per game (273.4), just behind Patrick Mahomes, Drew Brees and Andrew Luck. He’s also second all-time behind Luck in tries per game (37.7) and fourth in completions per game (23.6) behind Brees, Mahomes and Matt Ryan.
Stafford entered the league number 1 in the Georgia Draft in 2009 and immediately became Detroit’s starter. Injuries, including a severed shoulder, hampered his first two seasons in the NFL, but he started all but eight games for Detroit since the start of the 2011 season.
When he missed the last eight games of the 2019 season due to broken bones in his back, a streak of 136 starts ended – at the time the sixth longest start streak for a quarterback in NFL history.
Stafford has dealt with a variety of illnesses over the years, including injuries to the ribs, ankles and right thumb last season. In 2018 he also played with back fractures and a proximal interphalangeal joint dislocation of the middle finger of his throwing hand in 2016.
While the Lions never won NFC North with Stafford as quarterback, he has kept them largely competitive for the past decade as the team’s first pick after Detroit’s 0:16 season in 2008. Stafford had eight seasons with 4,000 or more yards and a 5,038-yard season in 2011 when he also threw a career-high 41 touchdowns. Stafford has executed at least 20 touchdowns – and at least 10 interceptions – in every full season of his career.
Stafford have only won five of 16 games against their new division opponents in NFC West. Goff has now won four out of six against NFC North.
Goff, who turned 26 in October, left LA after five seasons, including four under Ram’s manager Sean McVay, and with a record of 42-27. He started seven times without a win as a rookie under former coach Jeff Fisher before the Rams hired McVay, who was known for his offensive acumen and ability to develop quarterbacks. McVay and Goff flourished in their first two seasons together, winning consecutive division titles and an NFC championship.
The Rams granted Goff a four-year extension of $ 134 million, with a $ 110 million guarantee after leading the Rams to a Super Bowl LIII appearance. However, after a 13-3 loss to the New England Patriots in that Super Bowl, the offensive was never the same as the Rams have fallen from a highest-scoring team to an average unit over the past two seasons.
Problems between Goff and McVay became apparent during the 2020 season despite a 10-6 record. After a 23:20 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 12, McVay publicly called the quarterback for three turnovers and requested that the problem be improved. In the past two seasons, Goff finished second in the NFL with 38 sales.
McVay chose to start John Wolford with an uncovered free-agent backup in a wildcard playoff game at the Seattle Seahawks, despite Goff telling his coach he was ready to give up on his throwing hand thumb 12 days after surgery play. Wolford left that competition in the first quarter with a neck injury, and Goff, the only backup available, went through for 155 yards and a touchdown in the 30-20 win. After the game, Goff expressed disappointment that he hadn’t started.
A week later, in a division playoff at the Green Bay Packers, McVay Goff had to start, with Wolford paused because of his neck. Goff passed for 174 yards and a touchdown in a 32-18 loss.
After the Packers game, when asked if Goff was his quarterback, McVay said, “Yeah, he’s our quarterback right now.”
Earlier this week, Rams general manager Les Snead failed to cast a public vote of confidence in Goff when asked several times about the quarterback’s future with the Rams.
“Moving on from Jared Goff is … the money we put into him that is not easy to overcome,” said Snead, who later added that “anything can be done” in a cap-based system.