The Detroit Lions have made a lot of headlines this offseason. From the hiring of a new general manager in Brad Holmes and head coach in Dan Campbell to the pending trade of quarterback Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams.
As questions about the Lions’ staff have now been answered, the focus shifts to the roster. And while free agency kicks off later this month, Detroit is abuzz about what the team will decide to do under center.
The Lions will acquire Rams quarterback Jared Goff in the trade for Stafford, along with a bounty of draft picks including two future first-rounders. And the 26-year old Goff has a great pedigree, having been elected to the Pro Bowl twice in five seasons and leading Los Angeles to the Super Bowl two years ago.
Yet, Holmes recently indicated he likes the young quarterback prospects coming out in April’s NFL draft class. And as the Lions own the seventh overall selection in the first round, they are in prime position to land one of those talented passers.
But where does this leave Goff? According to one Hall of Famer, the Motor City is getting a quarterback who will be able to bring the team back to relevance.
Here’s what NFL.com Senior Analyst Gil Brandt wrote about the Lions’ potential with a new quarterback under center after ranking Detroit sixth in candidates whom he believes could go from worst to first in 2021.
“The Lions haven’t won a division title since 1993 (27 seasons), the second-longest such streak in the NFL. Can they finally snap that skid in 2021? Much will depend on whether head coach Dan Campbell and offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn can help new quarterback Jared Goff curtail the turnovers that helped pave the way for his departure from the Rams. I think Goff is good enough to get Detroit to 8-8 … “
Posting a .500 record doesn’t sound like much of a rebound. Yet, 8-8 is better than what the Lions have finished at since 2017, it would be a three-win improvement over last season, and it would bode well for the future of the franchise that’s under brand new leadership.
If the Detroit Lions did post an 8-8 record in 2021, it would likely be framed as a positive step forward for an organization still trying to shed the shadow of the previous regime. And even if the Lions use their first-round selection on a quarterback, Jared Goff is likely still the favorite to start this season. Although, with his predecessor waiting in the wings, Goff would be viewed more as a bridge player and one bad game away from losing the starting gig.