It now seems like a matter of when, not if, the Detroit Lions will give quarterback Jared Goff a long-term contract extension. He has one more year left on his current deal, but that can be laced into a longer deal. But he's playing a such a high level, it's hard to see Goff not staying in Detroit for another handful of years after this one.
The argument heading into this season about a new contract for Goff could've been made to make sense on both sides. Get it done now if you're going to commit to him anyway, as the quarterback market rises. Or, see how he performed this year before making that commitment.
It will be fairly costly to extend Goff, with at least $40 million per year feeling like the going rate for him. Yearly cap hits could vary/be lower based on the structure of the deal, but the Lions will either have to pony up or prepare to let him leave. And we know which will happen.
A new contract extension projection for Jared Goff
On Monday, Michael Ginnitti of Spotrac did a piece outlining contract projections for a few quarterbacks. Goff was first up.
After a lackluster 2021 campaign in Detroit (91.5 rating), Goff has now put together back to back seasons that prove he’s worth the price of admission. At the time of this piece, PFF has him rated #3 among all QBs, while his 99.1 QBR currently ranks 9th. Contractually speaking, Goff’s numbers (and career arch) line up best with Kirk Cousins, who will also be in the market for a new contract in the coming months. What does this mean financially? If the top of the QB market is seeking $50M+, Cousins and Goff are most likely mathematically falling into the $40M per year range.
Jared Goff’s current contract was signed at the start of the 2019 season. His $33.5M average annual salary represented 17.8% of the league salary cap at the time. If Detroit were to sign him to a contract extension right now (not a horrible idea by the way), 17.8% of the current cap calculates to almost exactly $40M per year. Should the cap rise to $245M next March, his assumed price could rise to almost $44M per year. Let’s not overthink this and split the difference.
Ginnitti's projected deal for Goff? Five new years, $210 million in new money, with $168 million practically guaranteed.
If Goff were to lead the Lions on a deep playoff run this year, that $42 million a year value projection would certainly bump toward $50 million. So the time may be now to strike a deal, but the Lions know the price is only going up and there hasn't been much out there lately about where talks are with Goff. Which may mean the news of a deal is coming soon.