I have been a fan of the Rams (Los Angeles, Anaheim, St. Louis, then LA again) since the 1970s. I’ve watched us be amazing, and do things that no one in the NFL ever expected. I’ve also watched us crawl down into the depths of utter mediocrity, or worse.
It is pretty hard to be a lifelong Rams fan.
Now then, I was quite happy when we traded up to draft Jared Goff. Sure, we mortgaged our future on an unproven rookie, but he did thrive in the system we had, for the most part. I would say Goff has played well, overall. He doesn’t always make the best decisions, and holds onto the ball a bit too long sometimes, but then again, he is still kinda young.
Then again, one might say we’ve gone about as far as we can go with Goff.
Now then, I’m not one to dream, as a Rams fan. Nevertheless, when I heard that Matthew Stafford wanted out of Detroit, a small part of me wished he would somehow make it to the Rams. Not that I necessarily wanted to get rid of Goff, just that I felt his veteran leadership and proven skill as a quarterback (on a hopelessly horrible Lions team for the last 12 years) would be a boon for us.
But that would never happen. We just gave Jared Goff an ungodly extension a couple of years ago, and there’s no way we would be able to trade him to another team, not with his stats and reputation as a “system quarterback”.
Except we did.
Matt Stafford is now a member of the LA Rams.
We traded Jared Goff and two, 1st round picks (!!) for Matt Stafford.
This surprised the hell out of me, but it really should not have. Remember, our management has a history of mortgaging our team’s future for immediate results or perceived improvements. So we traded a #1 pick for an older #1 pick, and tossed in two 1st rounders in the deal.
That is really “so very LA Rams”.
Now then, how do I feel about this? Good, actually, but also scared as hell!
Look, we just gave up two 1st round picks, and our starting QB in his mid 20’s, for a mid-30’s QB. This is… a lot. A whole lot. A ridiculous price to be paid for what is essentially a “Bridge QB”, to maybe give us a few years behind Center, before we have to replace him, too.
That said, Stafford is quite possibly the best Quarterback available on the market, and one that has put up solid numbers, year after year, on one of the worst teams in the NFL. Call him a Stat Padder if you want, but Matt has a great arm, knows how to read a defense and react appropriately, and can win games with the rest of his team riding on his back.
The same cannot be said of Jared Goff. He’s a fine player, but he’s no Matt Stafford.
Here’s the thing: I see this as a brilliant play by our head coach and GM. They saw an opportunity to trade for a player that should thrive in our offense, and perhaps be the piece we needed to win us a Super Bowl (possibly more than one) in the next few years.
Stafford is the same age as Russell Wilson, who continues to play well, having had a solid team to play with through most of his career in Seattle. Arguably, the Rams have a better team than Seattle right now, especially on Defense, which means Stafford is dropping into a situation built perfectly for him to thrive.
This could very well be the piece we needed, to put LA on top of the NFC West for the next 5-8 years.
Or, let’s be honest here, this could be the trade that cripples the Rams for the next five years, at least. Good players are found throughout the draft, but great players tend to be found in the first two rounds, for the most part. We keep trading away our first and second round picks, not to mention previous first rounders (A #1 pick?! Which we gave up two first rounders to trade up for?! SERIOUSLY?!)… This is going to come back to bite us in the ass, at some point.
I just hope we do well with our new QB. If not, this was the death knell for our Coack McVay and Les Snead’s respective careers in LA.