Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff seems to think that because the team didn’t select a player at his position in the 2021 NFL Draft that they’re sold on him reviving his career.
Maybe the former No. 1 overall pick who got kicked out of town by the Los Angeles Rams is just trying to keep his spirits up. However, if this is how Goff truly feels, he may be in for a rude awakening.
Citing how new Lions general manager Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell brought him in with alleged faith in his abilities, Goff had a rosy forecast for his future in making recent remarks following the draft.
“I think it’s a nice vote of confidence obviously for me,” Goff said, per NFL.com’s Kevin Patra. “I think what’s not lost on me is their first move as a staff, Brad and Dan, involved me. It’s exciting, and it makes you feel good.”
As Ted Lasso famously said, “If that’s a joke, I love it. If not, I cannot wait to unpack that with you.”
Don’t be fooled by Brad Holmes-Jared Goff Rams connection
Look, obviously after spending many years in the Rams front office before taking the GM gig in Detroit, Holmes didn’t dislike Goff as a prospect. He was there when the franchise made him the first pick in the draft, and saw Goff lead Los Angeles to a Super Bowl berth not too long ago.
But the whole notion that Holmes actually acquired Goff with the hellbent intention of keeping him as the long-term answer under center for the Lions is misguided. Holmes knew he had to get rid of Matthew Stafford, and when the Rams came calling, it was deal of convenience and familiarity.
Los Angeles clearly didn’t want Goff anymore, but since he’s actually quarterbacked a Super Bowl finalist, and since the Rams were taking on such a huge dead money salary cap hit, Holmes and the Lions could sell the notion of taking him on.
After all, Goff was more of a kick-in to the trade package than anything else. It was the two first-round picks Detroit picked up that were the real prize of letting Stafford spread his wings elsewhere.
Jared Goff is probably out as Lions’ starting QB in 2022
Goff may now have the NFL’s highest-paid center in Frank Ragnow, a solid tackle in Taylor Decker and a brand-new, seventh overall pick to also help protect him in Penei Sewell. It doesn’t matter. If recent history shows us anything, he’ll still be bad.
Remember this: In 2020, the Rams had the league’s No. 1 defense, an offensive line that was ranked third in the NFL by Pro Football Focus, a stellar rushing attack and plenty of pass-catchers to throw to, along with a wizard offensive coach in Sean McVay. None of it mattered. Goff was a turnover machine who couldn’t take advantage of the most ideal circumstances to succeed.
The Lions are in a complete rebuild, and Goff has coughed up 29 fumbles and thrown 41 interceptions over the past three seasons. That’s not a great combination of elements, but again, Detroit is overhauling its team and culture, so expectations aren’t very high.
All this is going to culminate in the Lions having two first-round picks in each of the next two drafts. One of those 2023 selections could be packaged to move up for a new franchise QB if necessary. However, Detroit should be bad enough under Goff’s guidance that it won’t need to trade up for a new signal-caller.
Let’s be real, too: 2021 was a unique draft. For the first time since 1999, the top three overall picks were QBs. It’s not like the Lions had a shot at someone like Trevor Lawrence. Instead, they sensibly built the team, and Holmes and Campbell seem very much in lockstep about bringing a physical, kneecap-biting identity to Detroit.
At best, Goff will be a bridge starter in 2022 while whichever first-round rookie the Lions bring in sits behind him to learn the offense. Heck, if he’s bad enough this season, the Lions may even cut him loose or trade him after June 1 next year, which would save them $10.65 million or $26.15 million respectively in salary cap space.