Rams Football…The Big Price…The Big Gamble”
LA Rams football….successful….bold….impulsive.
They fired the first shot in what could be a wild NFL offseason, by trading away starting quarterback Jared Goff, shipping him off to the Detroit Lions for their veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford.
The price was extensive, when you look at the price tag on Goff’s arrival and now his departure.
The Rams traded away 6-draft picks, moving up 14-spots to acquire his rights from the Tennessee Titans. The cost to get Goff….two #1s…two #2s…and two #3s.
They then gave Goff a 134M-package in an extension after he guided them to the Super Bowl…with 110M guaranteed in that deal.
And now to rid themselves of his enigmatic leadership, they again paid a steep price to move him to Detroit, shipping out two future #1 picks and a 3rd. They also take a 22M-salary cap hit.
The bill that comes due is staggering. It cost the Rams a total of 9-draft picks and the big salary cap hit, to get him and then get rid of him.
They gave Goff all that money two years ago, then refused to give him a ‘vote of confidence’ last week in the season ending press conference. He was (42-27) as a starter and (2-3) in postseason. His chart shows (107TD-35Int-91 QBR)..but also 44-fumbles.
In the postseason, he had 4TDs..4-turnovers…14-sacks but an anemic (79QBR) in the most important games of the year.
His confidence regressed. His mistakes increased. What he did early in his career has outshined what has happened more recently.
The history will show big games of (517Y) vs Tampa Bay and (456Y) vs the Vikings. But it will also show his last 3-starts, throwing for (137-155-174).
What Goff was becoming with the Rams was what he was like as a Cal Golden Bear…big games and bad games.
The Rams get a hired gun, a star on a stained franchise, but with lots of time left on Matthew Stafford’s clock.
He has never won an NFL playoff game despite gaudy statistics, but that’s more on the Lions than it is on the Lions quarterback.
He exits Detroit with over (45,000P-282TD-144Int) and an (.899-QBR)…all those numbers despite taking 385-sacks on bad teams.
Stafford stood tall in the pocket in Detroit. He can still throw it. He had a (5,038Y-41TD) season. He threw 90-TDs in a three year span, and still has gas left in the tank. Never been a question about his leadership nor his toughness.
The trade is a win for the Rams and a pathway to fix the future in Detroit, whether Goff finds his magic ever again.
Stafford comes to a team with a number one rated defense. A head coach viewed as a bright light in Sean McVay. He plays for a bold GM in Les Sneed. And the owner is not afraid to invest in the future.
The Rams gave out all those big contracts, to Goff, Todd Gurley, Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey. They have not been afraid to eat contracts, dumping Gurley and Branden Cooks. Never been scared of dealing future first round picks, in the Goff deals, the Jalen Ramsey-Dante Fowler trades. And they spent 5B to build that stadium in Inglewood.
The Lions have been misery for decades.
I’ve broadcast from Ford Field. Two blocks from that stadium are bordered up factories, vacant homes, burned out buildings. Michigan has beautiful places to live, but it has history of bad unemployment, decay and crime.
And the franchise, owned by the Ford Family, has had 4-winning seasons in 20-years, going (31-111) in one awful stretch…before Bobby Ross got there. He won and then he left.
Superstar wide receiver Calvin Johnson walked away. Legendary running back Barry Sanders walked out. And now Stafford requested a trade out.
The coaching history includes utter failures like Matt Millen and just recently Matt Patricia.
All this is what Goff is walking into, while Stafford arrives in the sunshine with a franchise history of recent success. And you see what Goff is going into.
The Rams are built to win big right now on the big right arm of a fiery leader. They have to, because they are capped out, and have not had a 1st round pick since 2017 and won’t have one till 2024’s draft.
The Rams, bold and impressive, look like they have won the first big deal of the NFL’s off season.