The Detroit Lions might have traded away Matthew Stafford, but they got themselves a stellar haul in return.
It’s never an easy choice to part ways with a quarterback who’s been the cornerstone of the franchise for a better part of a decade, but it has to be done at some point. With the Detroit Lions, they were informed by Matthew Stafford, their 2009 first overall pick, that he wanted to play elsewhere in 2021. It was up to the Lions to find a new home for Stafford while also receiving a stellar return in exchange.
Luckily for Detroit, they had themselves quite the market as of Saturday, with reports noting that a trade could be completed before Super Bowl 55. It only took a few hours after that news for the Lions to complete a trade with … the Los Angeles Rams.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter broke the news that the Lions would send Stafford to the Rams in exchange for two future first-round picks, a third-round pick and quarterback Jared Goff. While the Rams will be deemed the winners of the trade, the Lions did pretty well for themselves as well.
Lions get much-needed draft capital
The Lions made it quite clear that they don’t expect the team to contend for quite some time after they signed new head coach Dan Campbell to an unprecedented six-year contract. So, this trade helps give Detroit a jumpstart on that.
When it comes to Goff, the Lions are getting a downgrade at the quarterback position. Goff is coming off a 2020 campaign where he accumulated 3,952 passing yards, 20 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, and that’s with players such as Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, Van Jefferson and Tyler Higbee at his disposal. Simply put, Goff didn’t live up to his end of the $134 million bargain.
But that’s not what this trade is really all about. The Lions got the draft capital they desperately needed to rebuild their roster, with needs at wide receiver, offensive line and defensive line. Now, they can address those areas in need of improvement over the next couple of years. There’s also the chance the Lions can use said capital to make a move up in the 2021 NFL Draft to potentially select their signal caller of the future.
When looking at Goff’s contract, he’s fully guaranteed $43 million over the next two years. After the 2022 season, Goff accounts for zero dead money, per Spotrac. It’s not like the Lions are handcuffed to him until the end of his deal in 2025.
Sure, the Rams are getting an upgrade at quarterback to help make a push for the Super Bowl, but you can’t call the Lions the losers of the trade. Detroit got exactly what they wanted and needed to succeed, and general manager Brad Holmes should be commended for it.