The first blockbuster trade of the year is done. Jared Goff will be packing his bags for Detroit while Matthew Stafford will be headed the other way to LA.
The quarterbacks are in contrasting phases of their careers. Stafford, the first overall pick in 2009, is now a seasoned veteran. Goff, on the other hand, is still establishing himself in the league as a potential franchise QB.
The trade for Stafford was expected to be sorted out sooner rather than later. But the trade package the LA Rams offered for his services raised several eyebrows.
With both franchises having a different set of goals for 2021, we look at whether the Detroit Lions or the LA Rams got the better deal.
The Blockbuster deal
The LA Rams will be swapping Jared Goff, the 2016 first overall pick, for the more experienced Stafford. But along with it, they will also be giving up their 2022 and 20123 first-round picks. To sweeten the deal further, the Detroit Lions will also be getting a 2021 third-round pick.
Matthew Stafford can propel the Rams to the Super Bowl
Stafford has been around the NFL for quite some time now. Drafted by the Lions in ’09, the quarterback has enjoyed a few successful seasons with the franchise. But many feel that his talents were being wasted in Detroit given the poor supporting cast around him.
Finally, after 12 seasons in the NFL, Stafford will be part of a franchise that has the potential to challenge for Super Bowls. The LA Rams defense has never been in doubt ever since Sean McVay took over.
Boasting of the likes of Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey, the Rams have been the most solid defensive unit in the NFL for some time now. The side even made it to the Super Bowl in 2019.
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But their offense has lacked the consistency needed from the quarterback position to guide them over the final hurdle. Goff displayed sparks of brilliance but often failed to bring out the full potential of the team’s offense.
Something they believe that Stafford with his wealth of experience will be able to solve. But giving up two first-round picks for an ageing quarterback could prove to be a hit or a miss scenario.
The Rams haven’t had a 1st round pick since 2016. Their last first-round pick being the outgoing Jared Goff himself. Now trading away their 2022 and 2023 first-round picks as well, the Rams will be without one till 2024.
Goff and first-round picks ideal for Lions to rebuild
The Detroit Lions are looking for a fresh start. For letting go of their franchise quarterback, they have gotten themselves an able starter in Jared Goff.
And along with it, two very highly rated draft picks. Bringing in a new Head Coach in former Saints Assistant Head Coach/Tight Ends Coach Dan Campbell, the franchise is looking to rebuild for the future.
And Campbell’s rebuild project will get quite a boost thanks to the trade. Goff can easily slot in as their starting quarterback as he has done so ably for the Rams in the past.
And with the two first-round draft picks in the years to come, the Lions can look to address other glaring deficiencies spread across the pitch.
The reason many believe that Lions got so much is due to their willingness to take on Goff’s big-money contract. But if the side were to make changes to bring in a starter for Stafford, they would have to spend big, regardless. And they have the cap space needed to take the hit.
If Goff doesn’t work out for them, they can easily draft a QB in the future as well. The Lions have that flexibility given the high draft picks they now possess in the years to come.
Thus going by the trade package, we believe the Detroit Lions have bagged the better deal. But for the Rams, it’s now or never. If the Matthew Stafford experiment fails, they’ll probably have to wait a long time to find his replacement.
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