After weeks of speculation, the Los Angeles Rams pulled the trigger to trade longtime starter Jared Goff. The move puts Goff in an entirely new situation where he can reshape his NFL legacy. It’s also helped him receive something the Rams wouldn’t provide him.
Jared Goff’s surprising departure from the Rams
Shortly following the end of the 2020 season, the Rams took the rest of the league by surprise by moving off Goff after five seasons.
The seismic trade saw Los Angeles depart with the 2022 and 2023 first-round picks to acquire former Pro Bowler Matthew Stafford. Goff’s departure came several days after general manager Les Snead voiced that the Cal product was the team’s quarterback right now.
“Not going to get into specifics on those. That’s the beautiful mystery of the future.,” Snead said via Greg Beacham of The Associated Press. “Jared Goff is a Ram at this moment. It’s way too early to speculate.”
Goff struggled to find consistency in the 2020 season while the Rams limped into the playoffs. He helped lead the team past the Seattle Seahawks on a surgically-repaired thumb, fell in the divisional round against the Green Bay Packers.
The 26-year-old experienced a tremendous amount of success with the Rams, leading them to Super Bowl 53 while capturing a pair of NFC West division titles and three playoff wins in three postseason trips. The decision to trade Goff unearthed some uneasiness between him and head coach Sean McVay.
With all that in hindsight, the Lions finally did what Goff has long been waiting to receive.
Jared Goff finally gets the treatment the Rams wouldn’t give him
Since the Lions decided to move off Stafford, the franchise has fully embraced their new quarterback.
Goff quickly stepped into the prominent role of leading Detroit’s restructured offense while voicing excitement over what lies ahead. The Lions’ new general manager Brad Holmes further backed the former Pro Bowler, recently stating that the team never viewed the 26-year-old as a temporary option.
“I never viewed him as a bridge option,” Holmes said, via the Lions’ official website. “He’s been a winning quarterback. I think his resume speaks for itself.”
Despite the struggles Goff experienced in his final two seasons in Los Angeles, he helped guide the team to tremendous success. He finished with a 42-27 regular-season record while the Rams reached the playoffs three times in the last four seasons.
Holmes is more than hopeful that Goff can translate that level of success over to the Lions in 2021 and well beyond that. He more than proved to be an effective NFL quarterback, while the change of scenery may be what he needs to get back toward the promising production that earned him a pair of Pro Bowl selections.
Beyond that, Holmes’ sentiment lays out that the Lions will give Goff every opportunity to succeed and completely engrain himself as the franchise cornerstone under center.
Lions ready to roll forward toward playoff contention
For as privately uncomfortable Goff’s situation with the Rams became over the last couple of years, he has an opportunity to reignite his NFL career in Detroit.
Over the past two seasons, the shortcomings have painted the picture that he’s a system quarterback that only excelled due to McVay‘s tutelage. As a result, Goff is entering a situation where he can shape his legacy and reputation behind his play on the field and not as a product of his head coach.
The 26-year-old will have some adjustment periods learning the offense, but an entire offseason working with his new teammates should provide him some comfort level before the 2021 season. It all lays out the golden opportunity for Goff to redefine his NFL legacy.