Multiple reports on Saturday said that the Matthew Stafford trade would be finalized before the Super Bowl. Well, the trade happened later that night. Late on Saturday night, the Detroit Lions found a trade partner for Stafford. Ultimately, it was the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams weren’t even thought of as a potential suitor until late in the process. The Rams divisional foe, the 49ers, was thought of to be the running partner for the Lions in the trade. In the end, the Rams gave a king’s ransom to the Lions for Stafford.
Stafford, who is now 32, was traded to the Rams for not one but two first-round picks, a third-round pick, and Rams quarterback Jared Goff. With Los Angeles not having a first-round pick in this draft, they sent their 2022 and 2023 first-round picks to go along with the Rams third-rounder this year. This means the Rams’ last first-round selection was in 2016. Ironically, they selected Goff with that selection.
Full terms of the deal: It’s Matthew Stafford to the #Rams for 2 1st rounders and a 3rd rounder, along with Jared Goff.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 31, 2021
Stafford now goes from a team that was seemingly in the transition to a full rebuild, to a team that is armed and ready for a Super Bowl run. The Rams have the best supporting cast Stafford has ever had with the likes of Cam Akers, Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, Van Jefferson, Josh Reynolds, Tyler Higbee, and Gerald Everett. Along with that, the Rams had one of the league’s best defensive units. Unfortunately, Brandon Staley is now the head coach of the Chargers.
For the Lions, they ship off their former franchise quarterback. In return, they get two first-round picks and one of the third-round picks the Rams had. The real question is, will Goff even play for the Lions? Goff’s contract is ugly. If anything, the Rams adding Goff into the trade added a first-round pick due to his contract alone. New Lions general manager, Brad Holmes, was in the Rams organization when they selected Goff, so he very well may. He is still only 26, but the fact that the Rams traded Goff despite making it to the divisional round this year isn’t a good sign of what the organization thought about him. The Lions have the seventh pick in the draft and have holes all across the roster. Goff could very well be a bridge quarterback to their new franchise quarterback.
Contract Details For Stafford and Goff
For Goff’s contract alone, the Rams inherit Stafford’s two-year $43 million contract, and the Lions carry a $17.8 million dead cap hit in 2021. Detroit will now inherit Goff’s four-year $106.6 million contract while the Rams carry over $22 million in dead cap. The Lions could very well cut or Trade Goff before the new league year. He has over $43 million fully guaranteed money on his deal, including a $25 million base salary in 2021, a $2.5 million roster bonus due on the second day of the new league year, and another $15.5 million bonus on the second day of the new league year in 2022, per Tom Pelissero.
Jared Goff has $43 million in fully guaranteed money left on that deal — $25M in base salary in 2021, a $2.5M roster bonus due on the 2nd day of the 2021 league year in March and another $15.5M roster bonus due on the 2nd day of the 2022 league year.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 31, 2021
All in all, this is a good trade for both sides. The Rams get a new quarterback for their Super Bowl run, and the Lions get a multitude of picks to start their rebuild. The first domino of the quarterback carousel is out of the way. Now, what happens next?