ESPN’s Ryan Clark Reveals Why the Rams Made an ‘Irresponsible’ Move by Trading for Matthew Stafford

The LA Rams are acquiring Matthew Stafford from the Detroit Lions in a blockbuster trade involving two former No. 1 overall draft picks. Stafford is heading to the Rams, while Jared Goff is now on the Lions.

Most NFL pundits believe the Rams won the trade since they got the better quarterback in Stafford. However, ESPN’s Ryan Clark is one of the few experts who doesn’t like this trade for LA.

The Rams’ Super Bowl odds moved from +1800 to +1500 after acquiring Matthew Stafford

Matthew Stafford has one of the biggest arms in the NFL. He threw for 45,109 yards with the Lions and tossed 282 touchdowns while completing 62.6% of his passes.

According to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, Rams head coach Sean McVay and Stafford had dinner in Los Cabos, Mexico to celebrate the trade. The Lions had interest from seven or eight teams offering first-round picks as compensation for Stafford, the No. 1 overall pick in 2009.

After LA acquired Stafford, the team’s Super Bowl odds for the 2021 season moved from +1800 to +1500 at Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill. Jared Goff wasn’t good for the Rams the past two seasons, and his relationship with McVay soured. With Stafford as the signal-caller, LA hopes to win the Super Bowl since the organization finally has a star QB alongside their dominant defense, led by Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey.

Most Rams fans are thrilled about acquiring Matthew Stafford since he’s much better than Jared Goff. However, Ryan Clark of ESPN isn’t certain that LA made the smart play.

Ryan Clark believes the Matthew Stafford trade will backfire on the Rams

The Rams sent the Lions Jared Goff, a 2021 third-round pick, a 2022 first-round pick, and a 2023 first-round pick to get Matthew Stafford. Ryan Clark, a one-time Super Bowl champion, believes LA acted irresponsibly by giving up that much for an aging quarterback who has never won a playoff game in his career.

“This is about WAR, right? Wins above replacement,” Clark said on ESPN’s First Take. “He hasn’t been worth that many wins in Detroit above his replacements. Is he going to be worth that many wins over Jared Goff, who took you to a Super Bowl already? I don’t love this trade. I think it’s kind of, and Mike Tannenbaum called it irresponsible this morning; you use first rounders to get Pro Bowlers, I get it. And so you feel like that you have a Pro Bowl-caliber talent in Matthew Stafford. If you don’t win a Super Bowl in the next three years, this trade killed your team. Because you don’t have first-round picks.”

The Rams mortgaged their future for Matthew Stafford. If the team doesn’t win a Super Bowl with him under center, Ryan Clark believes the Lions won the trade since they got a bevy of picks and a younger quarterback who has already played in a Super Bowl in Jared Goff.

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If Sean McVay is the mastermind offensive guru everyone says he is, the Rams coach has to win a Super Bowl now that he has Matthew Stafford in the fold. Otherwise, we have greatly overrated his coaching abilities.

It’s going to be fascinating to see how McVay and Stafford mesh in LA. The veteran QB will be under a lot of pressure to play at a high level in 2021.

Stats courtesy of Football Reference.