The Detroit Lions were (and still are for the most part) tight against the salary cap. On Wednesday morning it was announced the team has restructured the contract of presumed starting quarterback Jared Goff. There was some cap relief to the tune of $15. It does however also mean the Lions are tied to Goff longer.
Detroit Lions General Manager, Brad Homes, has stated many times that Jared Goff was THE reason the Lions traded former quarterback Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams.
Holmes has had a solid relationship with Goff ever since he spearheaded the Rams drafting him. While it is true the Lions received two-first round draft picks as well as a third round pick, Holmes says Goff was the reason for the trade.
With a base salary of $25.65 million, the Lions converted $20 million of the contract into a signing bonus. So Goff gets all that money up front. While he was going to be the presumed Lions starter this season Jared Goff is now likely to be the Lions starting quarterback for at minimum two seasons and possibly more.
Sure Brad Holmes has said that all draft options were on the table at #7 including a quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft. Now the Lions have even more options. If a quarterback they like is not there they can either draft another position of need or move back and acquire more picks.
The restructured contract allows the Lions to sign their draft class as well as sign any free agent during the season in case of injury. It could be just as Holmes has said, he views Goff as the starting quarterback moving forward.
The real proof will come during the draft. When the Lions draft their first round draft pick all will be revealed.
Just two years ago, quarterback Jared Goff looked like he may join the list of NFL elite players. Goff had lead the Los Angeles Rams to the Super Bowl and he looked like he was capable of doing it again. Then the wheels fell off and Goff started to regress. So was the regression player, coach or system driven? Let’s look at the facts.
During his playing days with the Rams Jared Goff had one noticeable issue, hesitation. That is part on the player and part on the Rams coaching staff starting with head coach Sean McVay. McVay’s system is designed to mask flaws. The Rams did a good job at hiding Goff’s deficiency but did him and the Rams organization no favors by not addressing it and helping him overcome it.
Traded Saturday night with two first round draft picks and a third round draft pick to the Detroit Lions for quarterback Matthew Stafford, Goff has at least one person in his corner who believes in him. Lions General Manage Brad Holmes.
Holmes who served as Director of College Scouting for the Rams was one guy who was adamant in 2016 for Los Angeles to trade up and draft Jared Goff with the first pick in the draft. The Rams did. Brad Holmes knows what Goff can be as a passer.
The focus now shifts to the Detroit Lions new coaching staff lead by head coach Dan Campbell to get Goff back on track. More precisely the task of helping a 26 year old quarterback out of hesitation into letting it rip downfield falls on two coach’s.
New Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn, and 19 year NFL veteran and new Lions quarterback coach Mark Brunell are now in the spotlight for getting Goff back to his Super Bowl form. This will be interesting both for the Lions and Goff. If Goff and the Detroit coaching staff get things ironed out then it would buy the Lions time and they would not need to draft a quarterback until after the core players have been drafted.
If they can not figure things out then Goff could be moved and the Lions would have to draft a quarterback. This will be a focal point of the Lions for at least the next two seasons.
It is not often in sports trades that both teams win. Yet, Saturday night the Detroit Lions sent veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams for Rams starting quarterback Jared Goff, a 2022 first round draft pick, a 2023 first round draft pick and a 2021 third round draft pick. New Lions General Manager Brad Holmes absolutely nailed his first big move. However, he also publicly made known what has been whispered, the Detroit Lions are in for a massive rebuild.
A week after the regular season ended, Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions agreed to go separate ways. Stafford did not want to go through another Lions rebuild and the new Lions front office and coaching staff wanted to bring in their own players.
Stafford is the Detroit Lions all-time leader in all things quarterback. He owns all the Lions quarterback records. He was a good player to be sure. Stafford will always be remembered fondly by Lions fans and should be. But this is about what is next for the Detroit Lions.
Next is a massive rebuild that suddenly does not have to start by drafting the next franchise starting quarterback. It could, but it does not need to happen in the 2021 NFL draft. Let me explain.
By trading Stafford to the Rams the Lions get former Rams starting quarterback Jared Goff. While Goff has regressed the past couple seasons he does offer quite a bit to the Lions. He did lead the Rams to the Super Bowl just two years ago.
In the NFL a quarterback who struggles with a team often finds new life once he leaves for a different franchise. Case and point Ryan Tannehill who struggled with the Miami Dolphins found new life with the Tennessee Titans.
Goff has a huge contract which the Lions were fine with taking on because the Rams were willing to eat part of the contract. Goff signed a $134 million deal with $110 million in guarantees in 2019. The Rams will retain 22.2% of the contract.
Now the real prize for the Detroit Lions is the three draft picks. By getting two first round picks in each of the next two drafts this will help to speed up the rebuild. The Detroit Lions now do not need to draft a quarterback in this years draft. Unless the prospect they want is there, the team can focus on one of the many needs and address that. While it is very likely the Rams wanted to rid themselves of Goff’s contract the draft picks were the real get for Detroit.
Goff will enter the 2021 season as the Detroit Lions starting quarterback, after that all bets are off.