Trade scenario I
The LA Rams floundered in the 2020 NFL season, despite boasting the best defense in the league. The solution? Well, get rid of the bum under the center of course. And yet, the mood of the LA Rams changes more quickly than an Alaskan bore tide. The Rams organization seemed completely committed to quarterback Jared Goff after the 2018 Super Bowl season. But by the end of the 2020 NFL season, just 24 hours later, the team wanted rid of Goff.
In fact, the team wanted to be rid of Jared Goff so badly that the team traded for veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford from the Detroit Lions. What did the Rams need to trade to get him? Quarterback Jared Goff, a 2021 third-round pick, a 2022 first-round pick, and a 2023 first-round pick.
Now, I’m not faulting the Rams for the trade. But did they get equal value? The LA Rams were 7-4 after 11 games in 2020. The LA Rams are 7-4 after 11 games in 2021. Matthew Stafford has 3,316 yards, 27 touchdowns, and nine interceptions so far. Jared Goff threw for 3,952 yards, 20 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions a year ago. So yes, the Rams have upgraded at the quarterback position. But did they upgrade it enough to warrant the three draft picks?
Stafford is better, but 3 draft picks better?
That’s a tough call. So far Goff has thrown for 2,280 yards, ten touchdowns, and six interceptions. But that was to be expected after the Lions watched all their starting wide receivers hit free agency simultaneously. And to be fair, Goff has accelerated the Lions’ goal of rebuilding, by practically guaranteeing that the team lands the top pick of the 2022 NFL Draft. Curiously, the Detroit Lions have rushed for over 1200 yards so far. The Rams? Only 1000 yards.
Again, the point of this article is not that the LA Rams made unnecessary trades, nor that the trades will not pan out at some point. But the LA Rams repeatedly appear to have been overly eager to trade this season, creating a pattern of receiving less value than they may have in the series of exchanges.
Giving away more than getting in return is unsustainable. And no, we won’t know the result of some of the trades and the true values until as late as 2027. I love the risk-taking of the team, the willingness to try to improve the team even as the team is successful. For now, it’s just something to keep an eye on.