The trade deal was confirmed by a person familiar with the deliberations on Saturday evening. The deal can’t become official until March 17th, when the NFL’s free agent market opens and trading can resume.
Lions will be selected in the first round in 2022 and 2023, and in the third round this year. The trade gives quarterbacks, first selected in the draft, a new home – Stafford in 2009 from the Lions and Goff in 2016 from the Rams.
The Lions had agreed to consider trading offers for Stafford as part of the deliberations he initiated aimed at getting the sides to part ways this off-season. With a new trainer in Dan Campbell and a new general manager in Brad Holmes, Lions are retooling and now they have numerous designs to aid their recovery efforts.
Holmes was the Rams’ Scouting Director when they designed Goff. He discussed trading with his former boss, Rams general manager Les Snead. The Lions do what many consider to be a cumbersome contract for Goff. He signed a four-year extension for $ 134 million with the Rams in 2019. The contract runs for the 2024 season.
Stafford, who will turn 33 next month, is a former Pro Bowl selection with two seasons and $ 43 million left on their contract. He is expected to make $ 20 million in 2021 and $ 23 million in 2022. Stafford is slated to receive a roster bonus of $ 10 million on the fifth day after the free agent market opened in March. This forced the Lions to ensure that a trade agreement was in place by then.
Stafford could fit in seamlessly with manager Sean McVay’s offensive, and his presence could help the Rams return to Super Bowl contenders after they were knocked out of the NFC playoffs this year with a divisional loss to the Green Bay Packers . The Rams will rely on a star-laden roster with Stafford now playing on the defensive with Aaron Donald and cornerback Jalen Ramsey. You haven’t had a first-round choice since Goff was picked in 2016, and now another isn’t planned for 2024.
Stafford was productive and reliable. In the last 10 years he started nine times every 16 games of a season, even if he had serious injuries. In 12 seasons he has thrown for 45,109 yards and 282 touchdowns. He topped 5,000 yards in 2011 and surpassed 4,000 in seven other seasons. He threw 4,084 yards and 26 touchdowns last season.
Goff, 26, appeared to be on his way to stardom when he helped the Rams to the Super Bowl in the 2018 season. He was selected for his second straight Pro Bowl that season, throwing for 4,688 yards and 32 touchdowns. But he’s made a total of 29 interceptions in the past two seasons and McVay’s patience with him seemed to be getting worse.
Stafford’s move to Southern California could be the first of several moves this off-season by celebrity quarterbacks. Deshaun Watson has asked the Houston Texans to act, despite General Manager Nick Caserio saying the team has no interest in honoring that request. The Philadelphia Eagles will have to decide whether to move on from Carson Wentz, the number 2 in the 2016 draft behind Goff. He was benched by former coach Doug Pederson late in the season.
Aaron Rodgers said his future at Green Bay was uncertain after the Packers lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC championship game. Rodgers later said he had no reason to believe he won’t be back with the Packers, but knows that little is safe in the NFL.