It is quite cliché to say that a player has a chip on their shoulder. For quarterback Jared Goff, however, a chip might be an understatement.
Only a few years removed from signing one of the richest contracts in NFL history, Goff got the boot from the Los Angeles Rams. The player once deemed the face of the new Los Angeles franchise was traded to Detroit this week, and it speaks volumes to how that franchise viewed him: he was not good enough. The transition from Goff to Matthew Stafford should excite Rams fans, as they have a legitimate star to help their Super Bowl runs for the foreseeable future.
Goff, meanwhile, faces an uncertain future. He has not, and likely will not, live up to the massive contract he signed, and it led to his departure from Los Angeles. Now the face of a rebuilding franchise, Goff’s role in the Lions organization is questionable, in both the near and distant future.
Do teams, especially the Detroit Lions, still envision the former first overall pick as a starter worth having? Will Detroit try to flip him to another quarterback-needy team? With his contract, how long will he stay in Detroit? Do the Lions actually view him as a long-term starter? With so many new faces in the organization, it is nearly impossible to answer these questions.
We can, however, set our expectations for Goff.
Today’s Question of the Day is:
What are your expectations for Jared Goff?
My answer: I think he will be a middle of the road quarterback for the next two seasons before being traded or released.
Jared Goff’s successes have come when little was asked of him. His two Pro Bowl nods—an award notorious for mistaking team success for player success—came with Todd Gurley performing at a sky-high level, a threat that opened up play action and downfield throws for Goff.
After Gurley’s decline and eventual departure, Goff had to be the engine of the Rams offense, and he was fine at best—certainly not what you want from a first overall pick or $134 million player. There was a point where John Wolford was looking like an upgrade over him. Goff does not have the arm talent that Stafford did, an asset we will dearly miss. Short passes are his strength, and while this can prove effective in some offenses, a clipped aerial attack is not a recipe for success in today’s NFL.
The talent around him is also a question. D’Andre Swift had good and bad moments in his rookie season, but can he be the focal point of the offense for Goff’s sake? I have my doubts, especially with the near-empty receiving corps under contract. Anthony Lynn had his moments with Justin Herbert with the Chargers, so perhaps there could be a turn around for Goff and the Lions. However, Goff failed in Sean McVay’s offense, and he is in a far worse position in Detroit. A quarterback is very much still in play for the Lions at seventh overall in the NFL Draft, so Goff might end up as an expensive bridge quarterback, if he isn’t dealt away beforehand.
I genuinely wish Goff the best in Detroit. Landing with the Lions presents a fresh start for him, and he seems happy about the opportunity to play for a team that wants him. If Goff can return to Pro Bowl form, that could be an added bonus for a team that likely took him as a salary cap dump. However, the evidence seems to point towards a few mediocre years from Goff. Goff appears to be a quarterback that needs a perfect situation to succeed, and despite having one with the Rams, he was still a weak link. He won’t get that in Detroit.
But hey, with low expectations, it would not take much to impress me. Good luck, Jared, and welcome to the Lions.