Photo Credit: AP Photo/Paul Sancya
On Saturday night ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the Los Angeles Rams have traded for veteran quarterback Mattew Stafford, and are sending Jared Goff and numerous draft picks to Detroit in return.
Stafford, who was the number one overall draft pick by the Detroit Lions in the 2009 NFL Draft, played college football for the Georgia Bulldogs and was faced with the daunting task of turning around a franchise immediately as the Lions were coming off a winless season. Stafford has played his entire professional career in Detroit, and has left his mark for the Lions by setting multiple franchise records including total completions, passing yards, and passing touchdowns.
Although Stafford has set records for the Lions, those numbers did not translate into a statistic that mattered most: wins. In Stafford's 165 games with the Lions, the quarterback had an overall record of just 74 wins, 90 losses, and one tie. This past season, Stafford ranked 12th overall in passing yards, but the team finished the season with just five wins. In 2016, Stafford and the Lions advanced to the playoffs, but have missed the postseason each year since. To make matters worse, the Lions have been on a consistent decline as the team finds themselves finishing each season with less wins than the year before. It is hard to blame the signal caller for the recent decline though, considering the fact that he has not had a receiving core that posed a threat to opposing defenses since Calvin Johnson was on the team.
Now, after the Lions brought in a new general manager and head coach, it was rumored that Stafford wanted a change in scenery rather than going through another franchise rebuild, and late Saturday night Stafford got his wish as he goes from the Motor City, to warm weather and palm trees in Los Angeles.
As Stafford leaves Detroit and heads over to LA, the Rams on the other hand are saying goodbye to the number one overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Jared Goff. Not only are the Rams saying goodbye to their quarterback who has helped turn the franchise around, but the Rams are also sweetening the package by sending the Lions the teams third-round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, but are also sending the Lions with two first-round picks in the next couple of NFL Drafts (2022 and 2023) as well.
The Rams sending Goff away packing for Detroit is more of a surprise than the Lions and Stafford moving on from each other as Goff has led the Rams to the playoffs three times including leading them to the Super Bowl in 2018. Yet despite having success at the professional level, the Rams did not think it was enough to keep the two-time Pro-Bowler, and California native in LA for the long haul.
With these moves happening before March 17th, the official start date of the NFL offseason, fans should brace themselves for a busy offseason that will be headlined by a quarterback carousel.