The Los Angeles Rams will be paying Jared Goff quite a lot of money not to play quarterback for them in 2021 and beyond, so it’s hard to blame the new Detroit Lions signal-caller for being a bit baffled by how the recent blockbuster trade involving him and Matthew Stafford went down.
Goff spoke out publicly rather soon after being dealt away from the Rams, seeming eager to move forward with his new team.
Jared Goff on Rams’ desire for fresh start at QB: ‘The feeling’s mutual’
In an interview for the Los Angeles Times (h/t ESPN.com), Goff explained how he wouldn’t want to be with a team that wasn’t 100% committed to him — and that he’s eager to have that in Detroit, who had to sacrifice a considerable amount to get him:
“As the quarterback…if you’re in a place that you’re not wanted and they want to move on from you, the feeling’s mutual. You don’t want to be in the wrong place. It became increasingly clear that was the case. […] You start to feel, I don’t want to say ‘relief’ is the word, but you start to feel happy, grateful, ready for a new opportunity.”Jared Goff on trade from LA Rams
Goff also said he doesn’t want the way he left Los Angeles to make him bitter about all the good times he had there, playing winning football under head coach Sean McVay and forging friendships with his teammates. However, it was a very sudden, abrupt trade from Goff’s perspective, and he hasn’t really gotten any closure from the Rams organization about the whole thing.
Ultimately, Goff didn’t play well enough to justify the massive contract LA gave him. Ever since leading the Rams to Super Bowl LIII and putting up a dud of a performance in a 13-3 loss to the New England Patriots, the 26-year-old has never been the same.
Los Angeles missed the playoffs the following season, and even under favorable circumstances in 2020 that led to a postseason berth and even a Wild Card Round win, Goff mostly flopped.
Can Jared Goff revitalize his career with Detroit Lions?
The Rams gave Goff the No. 1 defense in the NFL and weapons like Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, Gerald Everett, Tyler Higbee and a deep stable of backs this past season. All he could do with that was log 20 touchdowns to 13 interceptions, and he ranked 22nd among qualified QBs in Pro Football Focus’ grades.
Such personnel luxuries won’t be available to Goff in Detroit, at least right away. The good news is, new Lions general manager Brad Holmes worked in the Rams organization for years, and must have some belief that Goff can still succeed at the NFL level. What’s tough is, there’s no question Detroit’s roster is going to need a massive overhaul to be competitive.
Most quarterbacks in the NFL can’t just come into a new team and completely change the culture right away. Goff didn’t need to do that in LA, because he was handed such a great situation once McVay arrived in his second season as a pro.
With Lions receivers Kenny Golladay, Danny Amendola and Marvin Jones all being free agents, Goff’s supporting cast for 2021 is very much up in the air. If he doesn’t get any of those guys back, or Detroit doesn’t invest in a high-end playmaker during the 2021 NFL Draft, there’s a real chance Goff will have an awful 2021 campaign.
The odds are obviously stacked against him, yet if Goff proves he can keep the Lions competitive even with all that going on, he may be the man Holmes and the front office build around for the long haul.