Saturday night, the Los Angeles Rams pulled off a massive trade with the Detroit Lions to acquire Matthew Stafford. The team sent a package of draft picks, which included two first-round picks and a third-round pick. The Rams also traded former Super Bowl LIII starter, Jared Goff.
According to ESPN, this deal marks the first time in the common draft era (since 1967) that two former No. 1 overall picks were exchanged via trade. Goff was the first player selected in 2016 while Stafford went first in 2009. Now the two high-profile players will suit up for different teams for the first time in their respective careers. Though the deal cannot be made official until the start of the new league year on March 17.
LA’s new star. pic.twitter.com/RPT9BJ2B9D— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 31, 2021
"I get Stafford is better but Goff + 2 first rounds picks???" one fan commented on social media. Several others responded with similar tweets, expressing disbelief about the deal. Others joked about how the Rams will not have a first-round pick in the NFL Draft until at least the 2024 season.
While the number of draft picks included in the deal surprised some fans, ESPN reports that the Lions were not the only team trying to acquire Stafford. There were "seven or eight teams offering first-round picks as compensation for Stafford." The Rams just sweetened the deal with Goff, a player that new general manager Brad Holmes and new head coach Dan Campbell reportedly said was in their plans for the future.
Following a loss in the Divisional Round to the Green Bay Packers, Rams coach Sean McVay and general manager Les Snead faced questions about Goff's future in Los Angeles. The former No. 1 pick had struggled during the 2020 season, including throwing three interceptions during a loss to the San Francisco 49ers. However, McVay said that Goff was the team's quarterback "right now."
"Moving on from Jared Goff, that's ... the money we've invested in him, that's not easy to overcome," added Snead. The GM also said that "anything can be done" in a salary cap-based system. This comment seemingly referenced the massive four-year, $134 million extensions with $110 million guaranteed that the team gave Goff after losing to the Patriots in Super Bowl LIII.
Stafford, on the other hand, reportedly met with Holmes and Campbell after their respective hirings to discuss the future of the franchise. The two parties agreed to mutually part ways amid another rebuild. The news sparked off a flurry of rumors about where Stafford would land, but now the fans have an answer.