If the Detroit Lions and Jared Goff were in a romantic relationship, it has just been labeled perfectly.
The lingering question for the Detroit Lions is who their long-term quarterback will be, likely starting in 2023. The percentage chance it’s Jared Goff are low, but if he plays an entire season in 2022 like the did his last handful of starts in 2021 (107.1 passer rating) he could theoretically earn a contract extension.
With improvements made around him, there’s no doubt 2022 is a critical season for Goff in the scope of his career. He is entering his age-28 season, so he could be the Lions’ quarterback for the next several years. It’s not a great chance that’ll be case, but there is a chance.
Danny Heifetz of The Ringer has taken a look at 31 (excluding the Browns and Deshaun Watson) quarterback situations in the NFL, and described the commitment level as if each was a romantic relationship between two humans–The 2022 NFL QB Commitment Index, Post-Draft Edition, to be precise.
The entire thing is worth a read, but how did Heifetz describe the Lions and Goff?
Relationship between the Lions and Jared Goff put in perfect terms
Here’s what Heifetz said about Goff and the Lions.
"One Partner’s Secretly Getting Hot, While the Other Is Decidedly NotDetroit Lions and Jared GoffDon’t look now, but the Lions are hot. They signed receiver D.J. Chark this offseason and drafted the fastest receiver available, Alabama’s Jameson Williams, to go with breakout receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, tight end T.J. Hockenson, and running back D’Andre Swift. They have a sneakily fun group of players who touch the ball and one of the sneakiest good offensive lines in the league. The Lions are like that person who hit the gym all winter and got hot … possibly so hot that they are now out of the league of their partner, Jared Goff. Is Goff outkicking his coverage by getting to play in this offense? Could the Lions secretly be looking for a QB upgrade? If this team was a person, you’d be checking their Instagram story daily."
The Lions do seem like the half of the relationship that has hit the gym, lost weight, etc. and is ready to get out there and find a better long-term partner. To take the analogy all the way, it just wasn’t the right time this year, since the potential younger partners weren’t well-regarded as a group.
So maybe next year the Lions will find their ideal long-term partner. But Goff is being given a chance to step up his game, and he needs to take advantage of it.