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The Los Angeles Rams landed a franchise quarterback on Saturday after some back and forth negotiations with the Detroit Lions. Thirty-three-year-old Matthew Stafford is now heading to the West Coast, and Jared Goff will take Stafford’s place in Detroit.
Does that mean that the Lions will keep Goff in the starting role? Maybe, but it’s not a forgone conclusion. The Rams had to ship out more draft capital in order to convince Detroit to take Goff and his large cap hit, so it’s not like Detroit was dying to land him.
Other teams have utilized the strategy of sending draft picks with an overpaid player. The Houston Texans sent Brock Osweiler and a second-round pick to the Cleveland Browns in order to get rid of his massive contract. Now we have a similar situation with Goff, and there may be more such deals in the near future.
The San Francisco 49ers luckily don’t have to deal Jimmy Garoppolo away since the dead cap attached to the final two years of his contract is minimal when compared to what the team could save. If he’s dealt, the team should acquire picks rather than parting with them.
That’s a better situation than the Rams were in with Goff, but the Niners still have some decisions to make.
Like Goff, Garoppolo isn’t necessarily a terrible option, but he’s also nothing special. He’s dealt with injuries, so the 49ers could be looking to move on from him.
The NFC West is also starting to look quite daunting. Stafford now joins Russell Wilson and Kyler Murray in that division, which puts Garoppolo as a distant fourth, though the rest of the 49ers’ roster isn’t. If San Francisco wants to remain competitive, it probably needs to make a change.
Does that mean Deshaun Watson? If possible, sure. But that’s going to require giving up a massive haul of picks. Even then, there’s also no guarantee that the 49ers put together a good package. In fact, it’s doubtful they do.
San Francisco currently holds the No. 12 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Might Mac Jones be a viable option there? Maybe, but the 49ers need to be aggressive if they deem another option to be a better fit. If they don’t, maybe they should make a run at Dak Prescott.
There are options here, and John Lynch needs to pursue some of them. It might not work out, and if it doesn’t, Garoppolo will remain in San Francisco. But Lynch should at least try. The rest of the NFC West is leaving his team behind.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.