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Detroit Lions view Jared Goff as long-term QB solution

As we wind down the final weeks of the NFL’s regular season, we’re set to hear all kinds of reports about teams and their upcoming plans to build toward the future. The Detroit Lions appear to be getting a jump start on such reports by throwing their support behind Jared Goff.

Ever since he landed in Detroit via the Matthew Stafford trade with Los Angeles, Goff has largely been viewed as a stopgap starter, either until the Lions can afford to move off from his contract without being penalized or bring in a future franchise QB, likely through the draft.

While Goff has now spent the better part of two seasons starting in Detroit, he still has two more years remaining on his contract. Had they decided to cut him prior to the start of the season, the Lions would have suffered a $40 million salary cap penalty. That number dwindles down to $10 million in 2023, with a cap savings of $20.6 million.

But more importantly, the Lions are set to finally be in position to land a QB of the future via the draft. Part of that Stafford trade included the Rams’ 2023 first-round pick heading back to Detroit. That pick is currently projected to be the fourth overall selection. The Lions also have their own first-round pick, which projects to be the 15th pick.

This gives general manager Brad Holmes plenty of ammo to land a franchise solution under center.

Yet, sources close to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport have indicated the Lions actually view Goff as their long-term starting quarterback and are not looking to make a change any time soon.

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Detroit Lions believe in Jared Goff, but is it a smokescreen?

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Detroit Lions
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Any time a report like this emerges, it’s important to take it with a grain of salt. It’s not that Rapoport doesn’t have great sources or gets fooled or anything like that. Far from it.

But we also don’t know who these sources are and what their motivations are for spreading the word. If it’s from the Lions, is there really any need to randomly throw their support behind Goff heading into Week 14?

Or are we getting ahead of the NFL draft rumors, where smokescreens run rampant?

Everyone knows the Lions will have what it takes to land a QB thanks to their draft capital, and there happen to be several quarterbacks likely to land in the first round. Chances are, the Lions won’t have to move around to secure one if they wish.

For now, many would anticipate the Lions to be greatly interested in one of the top QB prospects, but this report would indicate they shouldn’t even heavily evaluate the incoming class of quarterbacks. This could lead to other organizations buying in, believing they won’t have to worry about the Lions leaping ahead or taking the QB they covet.

Yet, teams probably aren’t buying it. Potential franchise QBs don’t grow on trees, and the chance to land a true difference-maker doesn’t come around often. Goff, while he’s shown improvement, isn’t really an elevator or someone who can carry his team back to the Super Bowl. That’s why none of us should be shocked if the Lions take a QB early on draft day in April.

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