In the midst of a rebuild the Detroit Lions are playing a big game today

When Brad Holmes took over as GM of the Detroit Lions, both Holmes and Lions Principal Owner, Sheila Ford Hamp said the team was going to rebuild from the ground up. That rebuilds take time, but in order to set future winning up, the rebuild was necessary. Not even two years into a massive rebuild the 5-7 Detroit Lions host the 10-2 Minnesota Vikings today at Ford Field. The 5-7 Lions are favored to win.

ALLEN PARK, MICHIGAN – MAY 27: Principal Owner and Chairman Sheila Ford Hamp watches the afternoon practice session with Head Coach Dan Campbell and General Manager Brad Holmes and President Rod Woods on May 27, 2021 in Allen Park, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Every fan base of a team the has rebuilt or is rebuilding, looks for a sign that things are trending in the right direction. Rebuilds do take time. How much time is largely dependent on the GM, scouts and head coach. When Brad Holmes took over the Detroit Lions, Holmes took an axe to previous GM Bob Quinn’s roster.

The Lions won just 3 games last season, Holmes has had two very good drafts which is laying the foundation for what is taking place today. with two more wins and still more games to be played the Lions are in the mix for a playoff spot.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – DECEMBER 04: Jared Goff #16 of the Detroit Lions looks on against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Ford Field on December 04, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

Jared Goff who was viewed by, well everyone as a bridge quarterback seems to have found a home in Detroit where Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell view him as “THE GUY.” Goff’s numbers back leaderships view of him. 3022- yds passing, 19- td’s 7-ints show why Goff has been to two Pro Bowls and taken the Los Angeles Rams to the Super Bowl.

Still football like every sport is a team game. The Lions defense which struggled mightily to find it’s footing, has done just that the past 4 games. The team has found a pass rush, the secondary has played better and the linebackers are getting to the ball much better.

Still this is not even two years into a big rebuild and the Detroit Lions are favored over a team that has 10 wins and is the division leader. This should excite fans, it should be a warning to the rest of the NFC, the Detroit Lions are coming. They may or may not make the playoffs this season. But they are coming, sooner than later.

Detroit Lions: Jared Goff and General Manager, Brad Holmes are not tied together

As far as the NFL goes there is a rule of thumb. That rule of thumb is that quarterbacks are tied to general managers. Meaning, when drafted or signed as a free agent or even traded for, the general manger (GM) and his job security is directly tied to the quarterback that is brought in. When Detroit Lions general manger Brad Holmes traded longtime starting quarterback (QB) Matthew Stafford and received draft picks and Los Angeles Rams starting quarterback Jared Goff many believed Holmes and Goff were tied together. I do not view that as the case here is why.

ALLEN PARK, MICHIGAN – JULY 28: General Manager Brad Holmes of the Detroit Lions looks on during the Detroit Lions Training Camp on July 28, 2021 in Allen Park, Michigan. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

No matter if Brad Holmes is true to his word (no reason to think otherwise) and he and the Detroit Lions were happy to get Jared Goff in the blockbuster trade or if Goff was a salary dump by the Rams, it does not change the fact Goff is now the starting QB in Detroit.

Due to his contract Goff will need to be on the Lions roster at least two years before the team can move on if that is what they choose. That said, I do not believe Brad Holmes job is in any trouble as long as Goff is the Lions quarterback win or loss.

The Lions are in a rebuild. A rebuild that in the early stages is off to a solid start. Holmes has focused, both his first draft as Lions GM and free agency on building the offensive and defensive lines. Which in my opinion is the right way to build a team.

It is also my opinion that Jared Goff will at the very least serve as the rebuild QB. This can work in the Lions favor. If Jared Goff can recapture his Pro Bowl form he could be a longer-term solution for the Lions who then would not need to use a high draft pick for a quarterback. If Goff’s play continues to decline, the Lions are only on the hook for two years before they can move him.

ALLEN PARK, MICHIGAN – MAY 27: Principal Owner and Chairman Sheila Ford Hamp and General Manager Brad Holmes watch the afternoon practice session on May 27, 2021 in Allen Park, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

This is one case I feel where GM and quarterback are not tied at the hip. It is a rare exception dues to the rebuild that is taking place.

By restructuring quarterback Jared Goff’s contract the Detroit Lions free up $15 million

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.

DETROIT, MI – OCTOBER 16: Jared Goff #16 of the Los Angeles Rams warms up prior to the start of the game against the Detroit Lions on October 16, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. The Lions defeated the Rams 31-28. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

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.

NEW YORK – APRIL 26: A general view shows the stage during the during the 2008 NFL Draft on April 26, 2008 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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.


Was new Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff’s growth stunted in Los Angeles

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.

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 07: Head coach Anthony Lynn of the Los Angeles Chargers leaves the field after a loss to the Oakland Raiders at RingCentral Coliseum on November 07, 2019 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

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.

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA – OCTOBER 27: Former Jacksonville Jaguar Mark Brunell watches the action during the game against the New York Jets at TIAA Bank Field on October 27, 2019 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

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.


The Detroit Lions trade quarterback Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams for quarterback Jared Goff and a big haul

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.

DETROIT, MI – JANUARY 03: Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions looks on in the fourth quarter during a game against the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field on January 3, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

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.

HOUSTON, TX – AUGUST 17: A view of a Detroit Lions helmet on the sideline during the preseason game at NRG Stadium on August 17, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

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.