This past Saturday the Rams and the Lions made a blockbuster trade. The Lions traded away long-time QB, Mathew Stafford for the much younger Rams QB, Jared Goff, two future first-rounders, and one-third rounder. When I received the notification on my phone, I immediately cursed off Sean Mcvay and the whole Rams organization. Since then, after long consideration, I have changed my mind. Not only the Lions won the trade; the Rams also did. First, to cover the Lions then the Rams.
I recently wrote an article on the NFL Teams with the best and worst futures. On the list under “worst” were the Lions. That has since changed. This trade is exactly what the team needed. The only downside for the Lions from this trade was Jared Goff’s contract. At 134 mil over 4 years that ends in 2025, the Lions swallowed up a bad contract that will hurt their cap space badly. As for Mathew Stafford, it was clear that he wanted out of Detroit and despite the harsh cap hit, Jared Goff will be just the medicine to rejuvenate the Lions’ organization. Dan Campbell, the new HC, is in a great position to build around the new, young QB. The new HC also has two future first-rounders that could bring the Lions out from under the Packers, Vikings, and Bears in the NFC North. Detriot welcomes the new HC and QB with a few gifts already on the team as well, like WR’s Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones, Rb Deandre Swift, and a great LT, Taylor Decker. The Lions are a team to watch even though I still have them with a losing record, in two or three years they may be representing the NFC North in the playoffs.
The Rams do not need their next two first-round picks. They should not care about what draft pick they have in 2023. They need to win now. That is why Mathew Stafford is a great trade. They do not have time for Jared Goff to progress; they need an already established QB with a hunger to win. Stafford has been in the same organization for far too long and he wants to win before his career is over. The Rams are all in this year and next because of how most of their contracts are structured. Cooper Kupp, Mathew Stafford, Tyler Higbee, Cam Akers, Taylor Rapp, etc. all have their contracts expiring either in 2023 or 24’. After those years, they won’t be able to resign all those stars so they must win with the players now. Winning now is completely plausible especially with a new QB which was their sore spot this year. In the Playoffs, the Rams went all the way to the Divisional Round where they lost to the Packers. If the ending of the NFL season was any indicator to next, the Rams will win the NFC West. Even if the 49ers land Deshawn Watson, the Rams will be the toughest opponent out of that Division. The Seahawks including, Russel Wilson have fallen off and the Cardinals haven’t figured everything out yet due to how young they are. The Rams look great on defense and they solved the QB problem which was their Kryptonite. They will win the NFC West.
To conclude, both teams won this trade. One team betting on their future where the other is betting on their stars now to get them to February.