Here’s why Jared Goff has proven he should be the quarterback for the Detroit Lions for years to come.
The Lions traded Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams for three draft picks and quarterback Jared Goff early in the 2021 offseason. Goff had fallen out of favor with Rams head coach Sean McVay. Many thought he was just a salary dump or a throw-in to help facilitate the trade, and the Lions would be seeking a replacement as soon as possible.
Goff’s first year in Detroit wasn’t great, but the talent around him was lacking. You could argue the Lions’ 2021 roster was the worst in the NFL, and he wasn’t set up for success. Detroit had a new head coach in Dan Campbell and a new general manager in Brad Holmes to dig out of the mess Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn left behind. A 3-13-1 record followed, with better play late in the season to foster some hope
Moving to 2022, Goff and the Lions were in a much better place. Ben Johnson took over as the permanent offensive coordinator, and put Goff in a position to succeed as a first-time play caller. Goff developed a solid connection with second-year wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, and one of the best offensive lines in the league protected him well. The run game made life easier for Goff, as he thrives as a play-action passer.
Goff had 11 touchdown passes while only having three passes intercepted through the first four games last season, while completing nearly 61 percent of his passes. Over the final 11 games, Goff would throw for 18 touchdowns with just one interception and 66.7 percent completion rate. He finished in the top 10 in passing yards (4,438) and touchdowns (29), with fewer interceptions (seven) than Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Justin Herbert, and Joe Burrow.
Goff is under contract for the next two seasons, but Holmes has already said some discussions about a possible extension with Goff have happened. What would an extension for him look like? Right off the bat, Goff will be nowhere near the Lamar Jackson and Jalen Hurts range at the top of the quarterback market.
The contract Daniel Jones received from the New York Giants this offseason is a fair starting point for Goff. I would offer Goff a three-year, $110-115 million dollar contract extension, for an average annual value of roughly $36-$38 million. Locking Goff like that would allow the Lions to have plenty of flexibility in free agency for years to come, not to mention the upcoming extensions for Penei Sewell and St. Brown. Or potentially re-signing C.J. Gardner-Johnson and Emmanuel Moseley.
Keeping Goff as the starting quarterback keeps the Lions Super Bowl window open for another three or four years. Moving on from him too soon could shorten that window, or close it all together.