Front office risks
As we had stated, the LA Rams front office was front and center on this trade. The LA Rams, purely from their track record of getting far more with far less for any number of years, have built a pretty solid reputation on knowing when to get involved in an NFL player’s career, and when to get out of it. In most cases, veteran players who stand out for the LA Rams, find that their moment in the spotlight fades when they sign elsewhere.
And so, the opposite needs to be true as well. The LA Rams have created a sophisticated data analytics process that does a fairly good job of distilling a host of prospects and free agents each year into key performance indicators (KPIs) that allow coaches and executives to isolate and focus upon the players who are likely the best fit for the LA Rams organization.
Matthew Stafford, with all of his spotlight moments as well as his flaws, passed that objective and detailed analysis. When the Rams made the decision in 2020 that the team would need to part ways with QB Jared Goff, they really did not have an alternative plan in place. And yet, everything seemed to fall into place.
GMs don’t take risky bets, the LA Rams GM does
A successful NFL career for a General Manager is to gamble a little bit, just enough to show that the organization is interested in winning, but not so much that they cross that line of point-of-no-return. Somehow, the Rams organization may have crossed that line to acquire Matthew Stafford.
What is the alternative right now? The LA Rams do not have a first-round draft pick until 2024. They have no hot prospect on the roster. And, truth be told, the team has invested next to nothing in terms of backup quarterbacks. The team’s only two backup quarterbacks were undrafted.
Financially, the Rams organization could not afford to swallow all of Jared Goff’s guaranteed money in 2021, and yet they did so. Even if you ignore the NFL Draft implications, over 13 percent of the Rams 2021 Salary cap allotment was consumed by Dead Cap space, just for the right to trade for Matthew Stafford. Who is at risk when that happens? We all know that money matters, and that all falls upon the GM.