The Los Angeles Rams ended the Jared Goff saga in a deal just as stunning as the one that landed the No. 1 overall pick in 2016. General manager Les Snead traded Goff, two first round picks (2022 and 2023) and a third round pick (2021) to the Detroit Lions for 2009 No. 1 overall pick quarterback Matthew Stafford.
It became clear over the last week that Goff’s days in Los Angeles were numbered. Both Snead and head coach Sean McVay refused to commit long-term to Goff as the team’s starting quarterback since the Rams’ elimination from the playoffs. Rumors swirled about the possibility the team would move Goff as Stafford and the Lions agreed to part ways. Houston Texans quarterback DeShaun Watson added fuel to the fire when news broke that he had requested a trade as well. It didn’t take long for Rams’ cornerback Jalen Ramsey to predict Watson would land in Los Angeles. However, the Rams pulled the trigger on Stafford in the end.
Goff heads to Detroit with a mixed legacy. He compiled a 44-30 record and two Pro Bowl berths, including the playoffs, during his five-year tenure with the Rams. Goff led the Rams to four straight winning seasons for the first time since the mid-1980s, with two NFC West titles, three playoff appearances and a Super Bowl berth. He finishes his Rams career ranked fourth all-time in career passing yards (18,171) and fifth in career touchdown passes (107).
Still, Goff’s development as a franchise quarterback came to a near screeching halt in the last two years. He often struggled to make adjustments at the line of scrimmage and proved unable to protect the football consistently. One of the most concerning trends of the last two seasons was his reliance on the short passing game and a seeming unwillingness to throw deep.
Meanwhile, the Rams acquire Stafford, who recorded a 74-90-1 mark in Detroit. Stafford completed 339 of 528 passes for 4,084 yards, 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 2020. He has never won a playoff game in three career appearances.
Stafford will enter the 2021 season with the most talent around him in years. The question is whether or not he can lead the Rams to their first Super Bowl victory since the 1999 season.