Grading the Stafford-Goff Trade

In the 1st big quarterback move of the season, Matthew Stafford is being shipped to Los Angeles to play for the Rams and Goff is moving over to the Motor City in Detroit. It’s the 1st quarterback news of many to come in this offseason’s extravaganza. The Stafford-Goff trade won’t officially be processed until March once the offseason officially begins for NFL teams. The trade itself included the following package:

Los Angeles Rams Receive:

  • Matthew Stafford

Detroit Lions Receive:

  • Jared Goff
  • Rams 1st Round Draft Picks in 2022 and 2023
  • Rams 3rd Round Draft Pick in 2021

In this trade, there are clear winners, losers, and other factors that shape the rest of the league itself. In this article, we’ll break down what grade each party gets in this trade and who else is impacted by this trade.

Los Angeles Rams Grade: B

The Los Angeles Rams receive veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford in the first quarterback move of the season. Matt Stafford has consistently been one of the most underappreciated quarterbacks in the NFL as his talent has been wasted on a team that underperforms. Stafford is looking to revitalize his career and play for a team that is in a win-now mode with the potential to make a Super Bowl run. With Stafford under center, the Rams have a Super Bowl quality quarterback who might be the difference maker to make it to the big game again. With their superb defense, running attack, and star receivers, Goff held the Rams back over the last 2 seasons from being a top-tier team. Stafford is looking to get his 1st ring and the next 2 seasons are crucial for doing that. Depending on other moves in the offseason, the Rams are definitely in a better position than they were this season to succeed, but there are other big threats still in the NFL and even in their division. The Rams had to give up a portion of their future with multiple 1st round picks to land Stafford and haven’t had a 1st round pick in years and won’t have another one for several years. The Rams are in win-now mode and it shows. The Rams are getting a major upgrade at quarterback, able to clear some cap room, but ultimately at what cost to their future. The Rams get a B for the trade for those reasons. They get veteran leadership, but Stafford might not be able to compete at the same level as he did in year’s past as he gets older. Losing multiple 1st round draft picks is a huge detriment to the future of the Rams. 

Detroit Lions Grade: A-

The Detroit Lions were able to get a temporary replacement at quarterback for Stafford and a multitude of draft picks. The Lions and Stafford mutually parted ways as the time has finally come where both parties were looking for a change. With Stafford wanting out, the fact the Lions were not only able to get draft picks, but get a former 1st round pick in Goff who is not the worst option is a win. It will be sad to see Stafford in a new uniform, but the Lions needed to move on. If Goff can play like he did when he signed his massive contract with the Rams, the Lions will get an A+. Regardless of that, the Lions are still winners in this trade for being able to find a short-term solution and enter a rebuild with the draft picks they acquired. The Lions have a promising running back in Swift, other key weapons in Hockenson and Golladay when healthy, and now need to go through a massive haul their defense to be competitive. The Lions will look to do that through the draft and in free agency over the next few seasons as they enter a new era for their franchise. 

Biggest Winner From the Trade: Other Quarterbacks and Teams with Quarterbacks to trade

With the haul the Lions received for Matthew Stafford, one can only imagine what other teams can ask for their signal-callers and what free agents will demand from potential suitors. The Houston Texans will realistically be seeking 4 1st rounders and other pieces in a potential trade deal for Deshaun Watson. The Texans come out as a big winner in this trade along with other teams who can shop their quarterbacks giving new hope to the future of their franchises. 

Biggest Loser From the Trade: Detroit and Los Angeles Fans

Fans of both lose in this trade even though their teams could’ve won. For the Rams, it’s going to be a grim future as Stafford ages. Rams fans will be unhappy how much they had to give up to acquire someone in their 30s. For the Lions, Stafford has been the centerpiece of their team for years. It’s tough seeing a huge piece of their city leave even if it is beneficial for their future. Stafford will always be a Lion and an integral part of the Detroit fan base. 

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