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Detroit Lions commit to Jared Goff as rumors of drafting a QB heat up

Vincent Frank
Jared-Goff-Detroit-Lions
Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

When the Detroit Lions traded for quarterback Jared Goff last offseason, it was pretty much as a salary throw-in for the Los Angeles Rams to add Matthew Stafford.

Given his struggles in Southern California over the previous two seasons, no one thought Goff was going to be the long-term solution with the Lions. His inclusion in the deal was both salary-related and to help Detroit acquire more draft capital in the blockbuster.

Fast forward a year, and it looks like the Lions have decided to commit to Goff for at least one more season.

“We have a lot of optimism about Jared going forward. We have a quarterback. We have a starter that can be productive for us. Jared is our quarterback and we’re going to make sure he’s put in the best position to succeed.”

Detroit Lions GM Brad Holmes on Jared Goff, via Tim Twentyman

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Jared Goff contract and impact on future with the Detroit Lions

detroit lions commit to jared goff
Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

There’s not much more Holmes can say about their veteran quarterback given the finances and a watered-down trade market for Goff’s services.

The former No. 1 pick is slated to count $31.15 million against the cap in 2022. Detroit would take on a league-record $41.15 million dead cap hit by trading Goff.

According to Over the Cap, said dead cap hit would come in at $5 million with a $26.15 million savings if the Lions were to trade Goff after June 1.

The issue here is pretty straight forward. There’s absolutely no trade market for an expensive quarterback who simply has not lived up to pre-draft expectations.

Jared Goff stats (2021): 67% completion, 3,245 yards, 19 TD, 8 INT, 91.5 rating

That came after Goff registered 42 touchdown passes and 29 interceptions in his final two seasons with the Rams after leading them to the Super Bowl following the 2018 campaign.

The likeliest scenario here is that Detroit opts to use an early-round selection in the 2022 NFL Draft on a quarterback while letting Goff play out next season as the starter. Moving off him following the 2022 campaign would result in a $10 million dead cap hit with a $20.65 million savings.

Related: Detroit Lions 7-round 2022 NFL mock draft

Detroit Lions QB situation hinges on 2022 NFL Draft

Malik-Willis-NFL-Scouting-Combine
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Selecting No. 2 overall, most figure that the Lions would be reaching if they picked a quarterback in that spot. Liberty’s Malik Willis is seemingly the only option.

Rather, the Lions have been linked mostly to edge rushers to help Dan Campbell and Co. on defense. Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson and Travon Walker from Georgia are two realistic options.

There’s also a chance that Detroit opts to trade down from the second selection to acquire more draft capital. In this scenario, Willis and Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett would make sense.

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These Lions do boast the 30th pick in the first round stemming from the aforementioned Stafford trade with Los Angeles. Using that selection on a quarterback such as Desmond Ridder (Cincinnati) or Sam Howell (North Carolina) could also be in the cards.

Either way, it’s clear that Jared Goff will be the Detroit Lions’ Week 1 starter when the 2022 season comes calling. After that, it’s anyone’s best guess what might happen on this front.