With new contracts for quarterbacks around the league, the price for the Detroit Lions to extend Jared Goff is naturally going up–seemingly by the day.
Just this week, Derek Carr and Daniel Jones have gotten sizeable contracts from the New Orleans Saints and New York Giants respectively. Diving into the contract structures and possible outs is not totally appropriate for this space, but Carr’s per year average is $37.5 million (four years, $150 million) and Jones’ is $40 million (four years, $160 million).
Geno Smith’s new deal, at a $35 million per year average, also pushes the financial bar higher for Jared Goff.
Goff, coming off one of the best seasons of his career, carries cap hits of $30.975 million and $31.975 million the next two years. That contract is becoming a bargain, but head coach Dan Campbell confirmed the Lions are thinking about their future at quarterback post-Goff. Frankly, going back to Matthew Stafford, the team has been investing a lot of money in the quarterback position for years.
The Lions will have to pony up to extend Jared Goff, if they want to
By any measure you can look at, career spanning or simply focused on last season, Goff is a better quarterback than Jones, Carr and Smith. Jones has set the floor for quarterbacks better than him at $40 million per year, so that’s the floor for Goff. Truly, $45 million per year is probably the sweet spot–after the 2023 season.
Unless his agent comes (metaphorically) knocking in the wake of particularly Jones’ new contract, there is no urgency to extend Goff this offseason. Even if Goff’s representation clamors for a raise, the Lions can hold their line.
Goff has bought the Lions time to find their next quarterback. Getting down to it, coming off a nice 2022 season, that’s all he has done. Regression seems sure to come next season, even with Ben Johnson back as offensive coordinator. It’s just a matter of what that regression looks like, and to what extent it is.
Leaving aside the ridiculous contract the desperate Browns gave Deshaun Watson, the quarterback market for non-elite, “middle class” guys like Goff is starting to boom. The Lions should be hesitant to pay up like that, and the time to consider resetting with a young quarterback come 2024 is right now.