Was Matthew Stafford the LA Rams third choice at quarterback?

Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams wanted to change quarterbacks this year. Almost at any cost. It was very clear that the LA Rams wanted to part ways with veteran quarterback Jared Goff long before any trade was announced.  Of course, at the time we know that Green Bay Packers publicly stated that he did not know his future, that Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson demanded to be traded, and that the Detroit Lions had agreed to trade quarterback Matthew Stafford.

The media had a field day, and we did all we could do to keep up with the daily dose of NFL Rumors that linked the LA Rams to an NFL veteran quarterback via some new rumor. It all began during the NFL Playoffs when ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith linked the Rams to Watson, and even mentioned including Goff in a trade package.

And per reports, their priority list was: 1- Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers; 2- Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson; And 3 – Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. Which reports? It was Los Angeles Times NFL writer Sam Farmer who appeared on ‘NFL Now’ who first shared that story.

In his interview, Farmer was clear to discuss that the Rams wanted Aaron Rodgers, but were turned away by the Packers. So they turned to the Detroit Lions, but not before they paused and touched base on the chance to acquire Houston Texans’ quarterback Deshaun Watson.

What did the Packers say about all of this? Well, exactly what they needed to say publicly to reassure QB Aaron Rodgers that he is ‘their guy’. They denied any conversations ever took place, and in their opinion, it never really became a negotiation.

What does this tell us about the LA Rams? Well, more than you might think. The LA Rams wanted to part ways with Jared Goff far more than the team wanted to add Matthew Stafford. And that’s the wrong way to set up an NFL roster.

It all casts a shadow upon the decision-making process going on with the LA Rams right now. Originally, the tale was that head coach Sean McVay reviewed tapes of Matthew Stafford, saw unique abilities that would be a custom fit for the Rams offense.  Now we learned that the Rams wanted Rodgers first and were turned away at the door, wanted Watson but couldn’t meet the cover charge, and finally did work out a deal for Matthew Stafford on their third attempt?

This can all work out. But it is most certainly a far different narrative if that is how the chain of events took place. And it’s a far different cry from the ‘We wanted Matthew Stafford all along’ storyline.  This is more along the lines of ‘this was our third and final chance to get rid of Jared Goff’ tale.

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This feels rushed. This feels like a team that made a personnel decision with at least some element of emotion.  Is that why the Rams have cleared the house of the coaching staff for anyone working with the offensive side of the ball?  Does it make sense for the Rams to mysteriously part ways with so many executives and coaches after getting as far as the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs?

I’m not sure that we’ll ever know what is going on with the team right now.  It’s quite clear that this is more than a normal changing of the guard. The LA Rams have been incredibly successful since head coach Sean McVay took over.  Will it continue?

We’ll need to wait and see. But if you are concerned, you have every right to be. The LA Rams are undergoing sweeping changes right now. And from what little we know, not all of the decisions are passing the sniff test.