Matt Stafford has been Detroit’s franchise quarterback since he was drafted #1 overall out of Georgia in 2009.
Jared Goff has been, uh, the Rams quarterback since he was drafted #1 overall in 2016 out of Cal.
Now they’re switching places, and Detroit is also hauling in a pile of draft assets in return.
Detroit is dealing QB Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for two future first-round picks, a third-round pick and QB Jared Goff, per sources. Two former No. 1 overall picks trading places in the first blockbuster NFL trade of 2021.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 31, 2021
The full blockbuster trade involving two former No. 1 overall draft picks …#Lions get:
QB Jared Goff
3rd-round pick in 2021
1st-round pick in 2022
1st-round pick in 2023#Rams get:
QB Matthew Stafford
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 31, 2021
That’s a pretty decent return for the Lions, although in part because they’re absorbing Goff’s massive contract.
I kinda feel like Detroit got one of those firsts for Stafford and the other because they agreed to take Goff.
— Andy Behrens (@andybehrens) January 31, 2021
The Rams don’t own their 2021 first, having sent it to Jacksonville for Jalen Ramsay, but the Lions might end up preferring that. Stafford is 32 and probably has at least a few good seasons left, but it’s much easier to assume the Rams will be picking earlier in 2022 and 2023 than their pick this year, which would have fallen at 25 this year. Goff could also end up being at least a serviceable stopgap if the Lions decide to take a quarterback at #7 overall with their own first.
Oh god no https://t.co/JY4hLBse9Z
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) January 31, 2021
The Rams, meanwhile, are moving to extend their window for contention while also admitting that Goff is clearly not going to work out. That’s a pretty stunning turnaround after Los Angeles gave him a massive contract ahead of the 2019 season. Goff and the Rams were coming off a Super Bowl appearance, and it looked like he might have found his footing in the league under Sean McVay. Now, he’s gone, and it was pretty clear the Rams were done with him one way or another.
— Jay Rigdon (@jayrigdon5) January 29, 2021
That’s a big whiff twice on a quarterback; first with a top pick, then failing to realize he wasn’t going to pan out despite having him on the roster for years by 2019. (The Bears have a chance to make a similar mistake this offseason with free agent Mitch Trubisky!)
The big winner in all of this might be Stafford, though. Leaving the Lions has to be tough; he’s been there more than a decade and he’s fairly beloved by most fans. He’s pretty clearly their best quarterback, well, ever, probably, and the team was staring down a few more years of not contending. Now, he gets to go to the Rams, where he should be able to plug right in and get to work, with the aid of a still-scary defense.
Good for him.