In his year-end presser back in January, Brad Holmes said "It's a lot easier to get worse at QB than it is to get better." He also said he never viewed Jared Goff as a bridge QB, he never doubted Goff, and that Goff has proven he's worth keeping on as the Lions starting QB moving forward. This was all after Goff finished the 2022 season on an absolute tear, earning a Pro Bowl nod, throwing zero INTs and losing only 1 fumble in the last 9 games, and closing out GB in GB with a drive to run out the clock.
We started the Brad Holmes era in a QB situationship, whether Holmes viewed it that way (or will admit to viewing it that way) or not. Goff's star had fallen pretty far from his last big shootout with Mahomes in Arrowhead. The Rams were saddled with what was then a massive contract on what was then a pretty mediocre QB, and they threw in a couple of extra picks to sweeten the deal so we'd take Goff off their hands in exchange for Stafford. I think I speak for most of us when I say we expected Goff to help us tread water until we could draft a franchise QB and get him up to speed. We were in a QB situationship.
Situationship (n): an uncommitted, undefined romantic relationship between two people characterized by emotional intimacy, spending quality time together and often containing a physical component, however lacking traditional categorization or boundaries.
It's easier to get worse than it is to get better.
When I look at the situationship the Jets find themselves in, I can't help but think how easily the Lions might have found themselves in the same place. In 2021, they found themselves in dire need of a QB (again). Unlike the Lions, they didn't have a very tradeable player like Stafford. However, what they did have was the #2 overall pick. Trevor Lawrence was going #1, unlikely to be attainable. But the rest of the QB class was there, or they could've traded for a vet.
As quick as fans are to push for drafting a franchise QB, it's rarely that simple. From that 2021 draft, only Lawrence looks like the real deal. Wilson stinks, Lance got bumped by a guy the Niners found in the 7th round, Fields is dynamic but still doesn't look like a QB, and Mac Jones is mid. The Jets opted to take Zach Wilson to replace Sam Darnold, the highly-drafted QB they took 4 years earlier who wasn't working out. This off-season, after watch Wilson not work out, they opted to go the blockbuster trade route and dumped a bunch of picks on the Packers in exchange for Aaron Rodgers. This should have worked, except it didn't. Rodgers blew out his Achilles after having taken 4 snaps in a Jets uniform and having thrown only one pass (incomplete).
Now they're trying to make it work with Zach Wilson again, probably hoping Rodgers decides not to retire... except he'll be 40 and Achilles tears typically take over a year to rehab and return to play. Even then, it's often another year before you can expect the player to regain their burst, if they ever do. It's one of the most devastating injuries a pro athlete can experience, and Aaron Rodgers isn't as young as Jeff Okudah was. The Jets have a pretty good looking team, but they're back in a QB situationship again.
The Lions could've been there but they opted to accept the Rams trade, which included Jared Goff. We all thought the Lions would be drafting their next QB that year or the next, or possibly the next year after that. Not Brad Holmes. It sounds like he was committed to Goff from the jump. Maybe we were never really in a QB situationship all along.