The Detroit Lions are sending QB Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for QB Jared Goff, the Rams’ first-round draft picks in 2022 and 2023, and their third-round pick in 2021.
The league-shaking news was reported by ESPN’s Adam Adam Schefter on Saturday. This came about a week after the Lions announced the organization and Stafford had come to a mutual decision to part ways. Since then, the Lions’ discussion of possible trade packages has heated up with various teams around the league.
Stafford will be leaving the Lions 12 seasons after being drafted by the organization at No.1 overall in the 2009 NFL Draft. The veteran from Georgia holds just about every meaningful passing record for the Lions franchise, including most yards, touchdowns, and completions of all time.
Not only that, but Stafford’s phenomenal time in Detroit earned him his fair share of NFL records as well. He owns the record for the most passing attempts in a single season all-time and has the most fourth-quarter comebacks in any single season all-time. He is also the fastest player (in games played) ever to reach 20,000, 30,000, 40,000, and 45,000 career passing yards.
The Rams won’t be taking on the University of Georgia alum without his fair share of doubters.
He has led them to the playoffs only three times in his 12 seasons with the Lions, without a single playoff win to show for it. Ending only 4 seasons with a winning record, there are questions in many NFL fans’ minds about Stafford’s ability to lead his team to any significant wins.
Stafford will be forced to answer those questions very quickly. On a Rams team with a top-tier defense, high-performing weapons, and arguably the best offensive line that he has ever played behind, any failure will likely be attributed to Stafford.
For new Lions QB Jared Goff, a change in scenery may prove to be precisely what he needed. After a statistically sound but underwhelming five years with the team, Goff’s $33.5 million a year deal will be joining new head coach Dan Campbell in Detroit.
Goff ended his tenure with the Rams after a mediocre year ending in his benching for backup quarterback John Wolford following a thumb injury.
For the Rams, Stafford is undoubtedly an upgrade at the QB position and is on a cheaper salary than Goff. QB seemed to be the Rams’ one missing piece on a team full of talent and weapons. It remains to be seen if they paid too steep a price for him, however, as the trade’s success will depend on the team’s success across the next two-plus years.
For the Lions, ridding themselves of a QB that wanted out was a necessity. On top of that, however, the draft capital they received with the QB-swap is key and sets up the rebuilding team from Detroit with hope for the future.
For the Rams, Stafford is undoubtedly an upgrade at the QB position and is on a cheaper salary than Goff. The QB position seemed to be the Rams’ one missing piece on a team full of talent and weapons. It remains to be seen if they paid too steep a price for him; the trade’s success will depend on the team’s success across the next two-plus years.