All In? Perhaps more like Carpe Diem
The LA Rams knew what they needed at the quarterback position. The front office and coaching staff were remarkably aligned in that, which in itself is pretty remarkable. The team needed an innovator in the pocket, a player who could follow the scripted play to a point. But ultimately, each and every offensive game plan runs into a brick wall, and the script gets tossed as the quarterback must create new opportunities.
The LA Rams needed a gun-slinger of sorts, a quarterback who would sometimes chuck it downfield and wish he could get the play to do over again. But at the same time, knowing that the odds of success with those throws favored the Rams offense. He had to be calm, cool and collected in his demeanor, but be full of competitive flames that would compel him back onto the football field to make a game-winning touchdown throw with a separated shoulder in his non-throwing arm (please don’t try this at home, folks!).
Rams QB specs meant Matthew Stafford
He had to play like a fearless competitor, think like a coach, run the offense like a field general, and analyze and diagnose the defenses for progression reads as quickly as a supercomputer. By the time the Rams had decided what type of quarterback the team needed to run the offense, the path was obvious. The team needed to get veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford.
By a strange twist of fate, the LA Rams lost one of the Directors, Brad Holmes, who hired on to become the new General Manager of the Detroit Lions. But while the Rams were familiar with Holmes, the Lions’ new GM had to do what was in the best interests of the team. The initial offers for Stafford were all competitive, but the offer from the Carolina Panthers, which included a Top 10 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, was the front runner.
That prompted Rams head coach Sean McVay to lobby the team owner, Stan Kroenke, directly for authorization to up the ante. Kroenke consented and the Rams raised their offer, and the winning bid, to QB Jared Goff (who is himself successful), a 2021 third-round pick, a 2022 first-round pick, and a 2023 first-round pick. The Rams had already advanced to the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs with Goff. That set the bar for this trade to winning Super Bowl LVI.