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.
It does not take someone good at math to figure out the Detroit Lions. Quarterback Matthew Stafford missed the last eight games of last season with a broken back. The Detroit Lions lost all eight games. Now Stafford is healthy again and by all accounts looks very good in training camp.
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has looked crisp thus far in the Detroit Lions 2020 training camp. In fact one practice Stafford did not throw one incomplete pass. Detroit area media members, teammates and the Lions coaching staff have all taken notice to how good the longtime starting quarterback has looked.
“Man, he’s been awesome, He’s dialed in, locked into the coaching, the teaching, practice, meetings, his leadership has been outstanding. I think he’s fired up every day out there, he’s competing really hard and wants everything to be perfect, and you love the drive of everything that he does right now.” Detroit head coach Matt Matt Patricia said.
As for the broken back that sidelined Stafford last season, that has healed. He is good to go for the opener against the Chicago Bears in just 15 days. The Detroit Lions have plenty of offensive weapons for Stafford and that unit can be down right scary to face.
Many experts expect the Lions offense to be one of the tops in the NFL this season. The way Stafford has looked so far has risen the offensive expectations.
The only question is can Stafford stay healthy and on the field? If so the Detroit Lions are very capable of being a very good team. If he is injured it could go downhill in a hurry much like last season.
So the offensive line, tight ends and blocking backs must do everything to keep Stafford on his feet and healthy. The Lions could be a team that makes a leap if the franchise quarterback stays on the field the entire season.
Embed from Getty Images Rumors are just that. There was a report that broke three weeks ago that the Detroit Lions were talking to teams about trading Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. Detroit Lions general manager said one of the first things he did was call Stafford and assure him the rumors were not true.
Speaking to reporters at the NFL combine, Bob Quinn said, “I called Matthew and said listen, I haven’t had one conversation. I’m not trying- we’re not trying to trade you.”
Matthew Stafford gave the only answer Lions fans and most assuredly team management wanted to hear. “Yeah, I don’t want to go anywhere.” The rumors also stated Stafford was unhappy in Detroit. But again it was just a rumor.
Bob Quinn said that Stafford would be the Lions quarterback for the foreseeable future. “In terms of the whole rumor on Stafford, I think I’ve texted a lot of people here that it’s 100% false, if we need to add a third exclamation point we will.” Quinn concluded.
The Lions are in win-now mode. Matthew Stafford is 32 years old and still has good years in front of him. Unless the Lions trade Stafford and draft a quarterback, he is the guy. There is little to no chance of that happening. If it did then the Lions would enter a full blown rebuild.
As I wrote in a previous blog, the Lions are two good players from being a very good football team. The team has high draft picks and $50 some-odd million in salary cap space. I fully expect this to be a defensive heavy offseason for Bob Quinn as he brings in more talent to help the unit.
Until then please do not read a rumor as the gospel. In fact look at it like a mock draft, the names are right but little else.
Embed from Getty Images Rumors! I like rumors about as much as I like Mock Drafts. Not at all!!! However, when multiple people are reporting the same thing it does at the very least, turn heads. The Detroit Lions coaching staff has been in Mobile, Alabama for the Senior Bowl. It was reported this past week they are willing to move quarterback Matthew Stafford.
With a playoffs or no job mandate from Lions owner Martha Ford, it would seem counterintuitive to part with a starting quarterback who has been with the Lions since 2009.
Before a back injury ended his season Matthew Stafford was having a solid season for the Detroit Lions, but his large salary may not serve the Lions best interests to retool this season. There is already a defensive overhaul coming.
Yet, Omar Kelly, from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel is reporting the Lions are willing to trade Stafford.
Man…. @BartScott57 is clearly hearing what I was hearing at Mobile. The talk in NFL circles is that Matthew Stafford might be on the move this offseason.
This would and would not be a surprising move. Yes, general manager Bob Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia have been told to get to the playoffs or else. Yes, the team is rebuilding the defense. Yes trading Stafford means a total rebuild.
That said Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa who is very good and very accurate should be there when the Lions pick third over-all in the first round. But, a playoff or bust with a rookie quarterback? That would be daring.
This could all be a smoke-screen. The Lions could be dangling Stafford (in name only) to see if they can gather more draft picks or it could be legit. Detroit feels like they are going into the 2020 season with the best running game the franchise has had in a while. They have good wide receivers and tight ends. If they believe they can put enough good players around him then they could draft Tagovailoa.
It could be something, it could be nothing. Time will tell. It is worth keeping an eye on for Detroit Lions fans.