The NFL quarterback carousel rumored to be a major storyline in the 2021 offseason got off to a smashing start.
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
In the hours after the draft, everyone is trying to figure out who won in this deal.
Though it is early to say and a lot will be contingent upon how well the Lions draft with those picks, we can always give an early evaluation of who wins.
1. Matthew Stafford
Stafford definitely wins in this deal.
He gets an upgraded offensive line and a much-needed change of scenery.
His career gets a second wind.
The Rams are only two years removed from their Super Bowl appearance.
In fact, the Rams went 10-6 in 2020.
They beat the Seattle Seahawks in the wildcard round only to lose to the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round.
It seems clear the organization has a sense of urgency to win now which also suits the 32 year old Stafford.
2. DeShaun Watson
No, this is not a curve ball.
Watson desperately wants out of Houston, and he now sees that Stafford got his escape so it can be done.
A trade for Watson is going to have higher stakes given his age (25) and demonstrated talent to carry a bad team on his back.
This trade could empower him to hold out or push harder to get his own deal.
1. Jared Goff
Goff is a California boy from birth through college so the culture shock awaiting him in Detroit will be a tough adjustment.
He also finds himself with a brand new head coach in Dan Campbell and a rookie general manager in Brad Holmes trying to rebuild this team.
Campbell has served as an interim head coach and an assistant head coach, but he does not have experience coaching a team through an entire season from start to finish.
2. Detroit Lions
As Detroit Free Press columnist Mitch Albom puts it,
“Matthew Stafford is the best player the Detroit Lions have. And the most dedicated. So when your best and most dedicated player comes to and you and suggests maybe parting company would be the best thing, you ought to be worried about your team.”
Yes, the NFL is a business, but it is very depressing when the face of the organization who has worked so hard for this franchise for his entire 12 year career wants to leave town.
Who Wins and Loses?
Los Angeles Rams
With the mentality of win now, the Rams get a more seasoned quarterback in Matthew Stafford.
Durability has become more of an issue with him as injuries have cropped in.
In 2020, he played 16 games but was dealing with a host of injuries including a torn ligament in his throwing thumb, damaged rib cartilage and a sprained ankle.
The Rams haven’t had a first round draft since drafting Goff in 2016, and unless they trade elsewhere to get one, a period of 7 years will pass without a first round pick.
Of course, there are great players available in the second and third rounds, but they will potentially miss out on the marquee players.