So with everything going on in places like Tampa and Houston, who would have thought the first domino to drop on Super Bowl week would be Matt Stafford getting traded. OK some, that’s fair. After the announcement that makes sense.
Now, if you were to tell me he would be dealt to the Rams, I dont think I would believe you. Add on it cost the Rams 2 first round picks, a third round pick, and Jared Goff, and my mouth would probably be on the floor. Are the Rams a Stafford away from another Super Bowl appearance? Have the Rams bitten off more than they can chew salary cap wise? Well let’s have a look into this.
Matt Stafford at 31, has never won a playoff game, never won a division title, never really won anything of significance in the NFL up to this point. He was one of the last guys that got the major rookie contract immediately after being drafted, and hasn’t really ever up to the number one pick billing. Now I am aware I’m talking about Detroit, but he has had guys like Calvin Johnson and Kenny Galloday as true number one receivers. He’s at okay to good running backs, the defense has had its moments, but no tangible success. So why is this guy so valuable?
Coming out of the University of Georgia, Stafford was the sure fire number one pick with a bazooka attached to his shoulder and the prototypical size. If you built a qb in a lab in 2009, he was it. The Lions, coming off a 2-14 season had the heir apparent at quarterback. Matt Stafford was gonna take the league by storm and dominate. Only problem was the franchise he was drafted by.
The coaches during Sraffordstime in Detroit is 79-112-1. Now, not all of that should be taken off of Stafford’s shoulders. He has never had a full 16 game season where he has thrown under 10 interceptions. His biggest touchdown total was in 2011 when he threw 41. Since he has not thrown more than 30 in all but one season. He has had some talent around him but could never put it all together.
Los Angeles traded the farm to draft Jared Goff in 2016. Los Angeles has assembled some of the best in the NFL on the defensive side of the ball in Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey. They have not and will not make a first round pick of their own in a 7 season window that could grow in the future. They are betting it all on Stafford and have mortgaged the future to win now. I feel like Sean McVay has no idea or does he care about dead cap. No one is denying his success so far though. He has not had a losing season as a head coach, and he has done with a quarterback that has been ranked in the bottom half of the NFL for the majority of his career with the anomaly being the 2019 Super Bowl season that ended with a loss to the Patriots that saw 3 points scored total for the Rams all game.
McVay clearly sees Stafford as an upgrade fit enough to surrender 2 first rounds and a third round pick. It also seems that Detroit were forced to take Goff, but got a premium back for him. Stafford probably had a hand in choosing this destination as well since he owns a home in that area.
The only real prediction I have seen for Goff though is nothing but negative, and I’m not sure we should count him quite yet. He is going to a situation that some might consider problematic. A first year coach and roster in disarray could provide a haven of a guy like Goff. Its probably a downgrade in coaching experience, but if Dan Campbell gives him a chance and shows he believes in Goff, it could spark him to more success. Ford Field is also a dome, so Goff has the same home field environment. I do feel that Stafford will be better in the short term, but give Goff this year to see what he really is.