Detroit, MI — February 1, 2021
This weekend the Detroit Lions finally pulled the trigger on a trade that sent Matthew Stafford out of the Motor City. The first pick of the 2009 Draft, Stafford has been with the Lions his entire NFL career. He leaves as Detroit’s all-time leader in a number of statistical categories. Pass Completions (3,898), Touchdowns (282), Total Passing Yards (45,109) and is the winningest Lions Quarterback with 74 victories in his time with the team.
What did the Lions get in return? It generally takes a few years to properly evaluate a trade. But, this one appears to have a positive impact on both teams. Detroit gets Rams’ QB Jared Goff, a 3rd round draft pick in 2021, plus the Rams’ 1st round picks in 2022 and 2023. Yes, it’s a build for the future trade for new GM Brad Holmes and new Lions’ head coach Dan Campbell. It will be a huge deal if Goff comes around under the tutelage of Campbell.
The Rams get a quarterback, they believe, that can help them win now. Detroit comes out the winner financially in the transaction. Goff’s 4-year, $130 million contract costs Los Angeles $22.2 million on their player’s ledger for 2021. The Lions are assessed 17.8 million for Staffords contract this year. None of Goff’s deal is guaranteed, which means the Lions can release him after this year and owe nothing.
Of course, the only thing that matters is what happens on the field. It will either be back-slapping and handshakes, excuse me, elbow bumps in Detroit. Or more of the same disappointment and head shaking that has been the norm for Lions’ fans of late.