The Lions, it seems, quickly traded Matthew Stafford after agreeing to part ways with their longtime quarterback.
Detroit will give Stafford to the Rams in exchange for quarterback Jared Goff, two future first-round draft picks and a third-round pick, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Saturday night. The deal can only become official after the 2021 NFL league year begins in March.
Tom Pelissero of NFL Media reported later Saturday that Los Angeles will send its first players in 2022 and 2023 and a third-round pick in 2021 to Detroit. Los Angeles traded their first rounds of 2020 and 2021 to the Jaguars (the 21-year-old pick became No.25 overall) as part of the deal with cornerback Jalen Ramsey. Goff was the Rams’ final first-round pick, No. 1 overall in 2016.
Stafford, who turns 33 on February 7, has just completed his 12th season with the Lions, who drafted him No. 1 in 2009 in Georgia. he would have asked the Lions to move him after the team hired Dan Campbell as their new head coach.
He started all 16 games in 2020 despite having thumb, rib and ankle injuries in the second half of the season. His production was up to his career standards: 26 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, 4,084 yards and a 96.3 passer rating.
Stafford’s ability to throw on the court and on the move should give the Rams’ offense a boost; specifically, LA action-play figures need to improve with Cowardly Stafford.
On the other hand, the Lions face the much younger Goff, who placed the Rams in the Super Bowl two seasons ago but was ineffective in the game against the Patriots. His 2020 stats don’t stand out: 20 TD to 13 INT, 67.0 completion percentage, 90.0 passer rating (23rd in the NFL). His 7.2 yards per attempt was a career low for a full season.
Like Stafford, Goff has shown tenacity this season. He played two weeks after surgery to fix a broken thumb. He was forced into action in the wildcard round in Seattle when substitute John Wolford was injured. Goff handled the game well and LA won. The Rams then lost to the Packers in the divisional round next week. Goff completed 21 of 27 passes in that game, but threw just 174 yards.
Goff, 26, will now join offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn and quarterbacks coach Mark Brunell in Detroit.
Goff’s contract is also an important part of this trade. Spotrac.com calculated that he has four years and $ 104.3 million (but only $ 43 million guaranteed) left on his contract. Stafford has two years and $ 43 million to close the five-year, $ 135 million deal he signed in 2017. The pact was the richest in NFL history at the time.
This article has been updated.