What could a contract extension for Lions quarterback Jared Goff look like?

Jan 1, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff (16) throws a third quarter pass against the Chicago Bears at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 1, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff (16) throws a third quarter pass against the Chicago Bears at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports /

Jared Goff is locked in as the Detroit Lions starting quarterback in 2023, but what could a contract extension look like?

It was not an overstatement to suggest the 2022 season was a pivotal one in the career of Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff. Regardless of his long-term future in Detroit, he needed to play well to show the rest of the NFL he could be a solid starting quarterback in the league.

Goff was one of the best quarterbacks in the league over the final month or two of the season, in line with the Lions winning eight of their last 10 games. For the season as a whole he threw for 4,438 yards (sixth in the league) with 29 touchdowns, seven interceptions and a 99.3 passer rating.

Comments from head coach Dan Campbell and general manager Brad Holmes this week confirm Goff will be the Lions’ starting quarterback in 2023. He has one more year left on his contract after that.

Goff turned 28 during this season, so he’s still a fairly young quarterback. It’s not out of the question that he has 7-10 years left in his career.

Should the Lions give Jared Goff a contract extension? What might that look like?

Between his base salary and $5 million roster bonus, Goff is slated to make $25.65 million in 2023. In 2024, that same combined compensation is $26.65 million. His 2023 cap hit is $30.65 million, and his 2024 cap hit is currently $31.65 million–both account for $5 million in prorated signing bonus each year.

Goff’s 2023 cap hit ranks 11th among quarterbacks. His 2024 cap hit currently ranks 10th.

With the top of the quarterback market at over $50 million per year, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk thinks Goff has possibly become “too good of a bargain” for the Lions and he could/should clamor for a raise.

"Goff has two years left on his contract. His performance this year actually makes the deal very friendly to the team. Goff is due to make $25.65 million in 2023. For 2024, the final year of this deal, Goff will make $26.65 million.At a time when the top of the market has shot north of $50 million, that’s a bargain for the Lions.And, yes, it’s easy to say that Goff already has received the bulk of his money. But that doesn’t matter. What matters is that he has two years, at a total payout of $52.3 million.It’s a bargain. Enough of a bargain to get Goff clamoring for a raise, if he wants."

Independent of whether or not Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson leaves for a head coaching job, this season was arguably as good as Goff can be. And as good as he’ll be over the rest of his career.

Goff posted the third-highest passing yardage total of his career this year, with his second-most passing touchdowns, his lowest interception rate, his third-best completion percentage, his third-best passer rating and his second-best QBR.

It’s bad business to pay someone coming off a peak-level season, and in Goff’s case the previous three seasons weren’t very good. The best move for the Lions would be to see how at least part of next season plays out, then possibly think more seriously about a contract extension.

But let’s play the hypothetical contract extension game for this offseason, since Goff played well enough this year to make it a conversation.

A three-year extension for Goff would go through 2027, the season during which he’ll turn 33 years old. Anything beyond that should include little or no guaranteed money, and be a strict year-to-year proposition. A new deal may change some of the current numbers for 2023 and 2024.

So here it is:

Jared Goff proposed contract extension

Three years (through 2027), $110 million ($36.66 million per year), $75 million (basically the first two years, as a practical matter) fully guaranteed at signing

The Lions should see what Goff does next season before doing anything on a new deal for him. It’s unlikely he’d be a lame-duck quarterback in 2024, and moving on is even easier than it would’ve been this offseason.

Goff has only made drafting a quarterback a little less urgent for the Lions, postponing it until 2024 perhaps. And they won’t be seeking a veteran replacement/upgrade this offseason, if one could even be had. Nothing more, and nothing less.

If his history as Lions’ GM (however brief) is an indicator, serious talks about a contract extension with Goff’s agent are not on Holmes’ radar just yet.

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