It is rare to see a two quarterback trade in the NFL, but it happened Saturday night.
The Lions are dealing veteran signal caller Matthew Stafford to the Rams, and Detroit will get quarterback Jared Goff, two future first-round picks and a third-round pick, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Stafford and Goff, two former No. 1-overall picks, trading places is the first major NFL trade in 2021. Stafford was the No. 1 pick by the Lions in the 2009 draft, and Goff was the top selection in the 2016 draft, picked by the Rams.
The 32-year-old Stafford, who requested a trade from the Lions on Jan. 23, reportedly said a couple of day ago that the Rams were a “a viable contender in his trade market.”
Goff, 26, has a career 42-27 record quarterbacking the Rams, but his stock has fallen since he helped lead Los Angeles to a berth in Super Bowl LIII in February 2019.
Rams coach Sean McVay hinted at his displeasure with Goff after a 32-18 Divisional round playoff loss to the Packers, saying after the game that Goff was “the quarterback right now.”
Goff, a two-time Pro Bowler, has thrown for 18,171 yards in 69 career games with 107 touchdowns and 55 interceptions. In 2019, he led the NFL in pass attempts with 626.
But Goff’s contract is an albatross. He reportedly is guaranteed an additional $86.65 million over the 2021 and 2022 seasons, likely driving up the price to unload him.
Stafford had requested to be traded from the Lions as the team was headed in a new direction. Recently, the Lions hired Dan Campbell to a six-year deal to be their new coach and inked former Rams executive Brad Holmes to a five-year contract to be their general manager.
The two quarterbacks will face off against each other next year — the Rams will play host to the Lions at a date yet to be announced.
Stafford had a good 12 years in Detroit, setting franchise records with 45,109 passing yards and 282 touchdown passes. But he was only able to lead the team to three playoff appearances, without a postseason win.
Stafford didn’t have the luxury of continuity during his time in Detroit. He played for four different head coaches, including interim coach Darrell Bevell last season. Goff, on the other hand, only played under two coaches: Jeff Fisher in 2016 and McVay from 2017 to the present.
Both quarterbacks have had injury issues recently.
Stafford played all 16 games last season, but had to battled through rib, neck, ankle and right thumb injuries, but none of those injuries reportedly are expected to require offseason surgery.
Goff didn’t play in the Rams’ regular-season finale after suffering a broken and dislocated right thumb in a Week 16 loss in Seattle. He also didn’t start the Rams’ wild-card playoff win over the Seahawks, as McVay went with backup John Wolford. But Goff was forced into action after Wolford was knocked out of the game with a neck injury on a hit by Jamal Adams.
Though the Jets weren’t linked to Stafford or Goff in any possible deals, it does mean two established quarterbacks are now off the market. This trade likely has taken away two potential landing spots for the Texans to deal Deshaun Watson, who recently requested to be traded from Houston.
Nevertheless, Texans general manager Nick Caserio said on Friday the team had “zero interest” in trading Watson.