What the Matthew Stafford-Jared Goff trade means for the Lions future

Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams (Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports)
Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams (Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports) /

You’ve seen the news. The Detroit Lions have pulled the trigger on a trade sending quarterback Matthew Stafford away from Motown and they’ll have a new QB1 for the first time since the infamous 0-16 season.

Now, this is an emotive subject. I’ve seen smart people whose opinions I respect have very different views on this trade. Do leave a comment at the bottom of the page to share your initial thoughts too.

For me, it’s clear that this is a win for the Los Angeles Rams. They have built a great roster without using first-round picks already, and I would have them as the NFC favorite for 2021 as it stands.

For the Lions, it’s a little less clear. But it certainly has the potential to be franchise-altering.

What does it mean for the 2021 draft?

The lack of an additional 2021 first rounder feels like a disappointing outcome to many. It’s always exciting in the moment to have additional high picks and many fans will have been excited at having the No.12 or No.19 pick this year in addition to No.7.

However, for those wondering what this does to the Lions’ 2021 draft strategy, I really don’t think it alters their view at all.

You have inherited additional draft capital and if you want to make a move up the board then you can. But it gives a bit more flexibility in not needing to make a move. The Lions can be patient and let the draft come to them knowing they have a starter-level quarterback already in the building.

It also means if they do take a quarterback, they can let them sit and learn if needed. The most realistic top 10 options as it stands are likely Justin Fields and Trey Lance and both could do with some time sitting behind a veteran, which they would now get.

If the rookie is the better option in training camp, then you have a Matt Flynn-Russell Wilson situation from 2012 which is a nice problem to have.