USA TODAY International Edition

QB Goff clearly had been disappoint­ment for Rams

- Mike Jones

Determined to move on from the quarterbac­k they awarded a four- year, $ 100 million contract to just two seasons ago, the Rams have pulled off a blockbuste­r deal.

They're sending Jared Goff, two firstround draft picks and a third- round pick to the Lions in exchange for Matthew Stafford, two people with knowledge of the situation confirmed to USA TODAY Sports on Saturday night, speaking on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced.

The Rams are parting with firstround picks in 2022 and 2023 to get Stafford, who had reached an agreement with team brass to work out a trade as Detroit rebuilds under a new head coach, Dan Campbell, and firstyear general manager Brad Holmes. Holmes just joined Detroit after 17 years in the Rams organizati­on.

Los Angeles is forking over eye- popping compensati­on, but coach Sean McVay and GM Les Snead had publicly signaled their dissatisfa­ction with Goff, who has appeared to regress since signing that $ 134 million contract in September 2019.

The Rams have been aggressive in dealing away draft picks for star players since McVay came aboard in 2017. They have dealt first- round picks for wide receiver Brandin Cooks ( no longer with the team), cornerback Jalen

Ramsey and now Stafford. Los Angeles hasn't drafted in the first round since 2016 and now isn't scheduled to have a first- round pick until 2024.

Goff, the first overall pick in 2016, was an instrument­al figure in the Rams' run to the Super Bowl in 2018. However, his inconsiste­nt play in the last two seasons frustrated McVay, who runs a quarterbac­k- friendly system.

Late in the season, after Goff broke the thumb in his throwing hand, John Wolford played well. Even when Goff returned, McVay started Wolford for the team's wild- card playoff game. Wolford got knocked out of the game with an injury, so McVay had no choice but to turn to Goff, who played well enough to help the team beat Seattle.

But the Rams lost to Green Bay the following week.

Asked about Goff' s future after the season, McVay and Snead remained non- committal, saying he was “a Ram, at the moment.”

The willingnes­s to mortgage the future to acquire Stafford is intriguing and in some ways surprising.

Stafford, the first overall pick in 2009, will be 33 this season. For all of his passing yards – he's the fastest player to reach 45,000 career yards – he has only one Pro Bowl selection for his career and owns a 0- 3 record in the playoffs.

Yet the Rams see Stafford and his big arm as an upgrade over Goff as they try to remain competitiv­e in a hotly contested NFC West, which features the 49ers, Seahawks and Cardinals.

Stafford has just two seasons left on a five- year, $ 135 million contract signed in 2017.

Stafford is ecstatic over the deal, a person with direct knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports on Saturday.

The person requested anonymity because the trade had not been officially announced.

After years of playing on underperfo­rming Lions teams plagued by talent deficiencies, he now goes to a team with a championsh­ip- caliber roster, as well as one of the brightest young coaches in the game.

 ?? ROBERT HANASHIRO/ USA TODAY SPORTS ?? Jared Goff quarterbac­ked the Rams to Super Bowl 53 two years ago.
ROBERT HANASHIRO/ USA TODAY SPORTS Jared Goff quarterbac­ked the Rams to Super Bowl 53 two years ago.
 ?? TIM FULLER/ USA TODAY SPORTS ?? In 12 seasons with the Lions, Matthew Stafford threw for 45,109 yards and 282 TDs.
TIM FULLER/ USA TODAY SPORTS In 12 seasons with the Lions, Matthew Stafford threw for 45,109 yards and 282 TDs.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA