Winners and Losers from Matthew Stafford-Jared Goff Trade

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Matthew Stafford is going to the Rams in exchange for Jared Goff, two future first-round picks, and a third-round pick. More details here.

Here are the winners and losers from the trade:

Winner: Matthew Stafford

Stafford, undoubtedly, is the biggest winner of Saturday’s blockbuster trade. He finally has a head coach that knows how to utilize his skill-set in Sean McVay, whose innovative offense is built for a QB with Stafford’s talents. This duo also has studs in Cam Akers, Robert Woods, and Cooper Kupp to work with on offense.

Stafford goes from a team with 7-9 aspirations to Super Bowl goals next season. For the first time in Stafford’s career, he will have a top-level defense on the other side. Get this: in 2020, the Rams ranked 1st in yards and points allowed, the Lions ranked last (LOL) in both categories.

It’s premature to call the Rams the NFC favorites, they are not. Though they are instantly better with Stafford and are close to, or on-par with the Bucs and Packers, the conference’s two best teams.

Most importantly, Stafford is leaving Detroit for Los Angeles, that’s the real win.

Loser: Jared Goff

I hate to be negative, but for Goff, this sucks. With the subtraction of Stafford, the Lions have the worst roster in the NFC and are in official rebuild mode. For a young, expensive QB who isn’t the future, there’s isn’t a worse situation than the one the Lions present.

Unless Goff miraculously improves, he will be an unpopular bridge QB in Detroit.

Winner: The Lions’ future

Yes, the Lions are bad, but their fans are happily looking ahead to the future this morning.

The Lions need to rebuild both sides off the ball and the increased draft capital gives them the opportunity to do that via the draft, or by trading picks for upcoming disgruntled and proven players.

Taking back Goff indicates the Lions weren’t in love with the QBs expected to be available at 7th overall. Now, the Lions can look to sure up other areas and use one of their four first-round picks between 2022 and 2023 at the QB position.

There’s also the possibility that the Lions botch all this by drafting more mediocre players. Given the team’s history, that is a reasonable concern. Though, if nothing else, the trade gave the fan base hope, which they haven’t had in years.

Loser: the 49ers.

The 49ers, not the Rams, were a Matt Stafford away from bolting to the top of the NFC. Not only did the 49ers — who were interested in Stafford — miss out, Stafford went to San Francisco’s division rival. A double L in one night. The first step toward a Super Bowl is a division win. Unless the 49ers acquire Deshaun Watson — which is a long shot — their roster will enter the season ranked behind the Rams’ roster.

Losing out on Stafford also makes it more likely Jimmy Garoppolo is back starting for San Francisco in 2021. Like the Rams, the 49ers seem convinced they need an upgrade at QB. San Francisco’s next options include trading for Sam Darnold or drafting a QB at 12th overall, two risky options for a team one year removed from the Super Bowl.

Winner: the NFL

The NFL won last night. Player movement did wonders for the NBA’s overall discussion, and the NFL is on track for an NBA-style offseason. And unlike the NBA, the NFL has a great on-field product to back up the offseason buzz.

Most seasons, NFL talk dies down after the Super Bowl and doesn’t pick back up until draft talk begins. (Excluding last year, the NFL’s free agency period is often a dud). Sports fans love predicting, debating, and projecting — all of which are enhanced with rumors and trades.

Stafford was just the first domino to fall, and perhaps not the biggest.

Comment below with the biggest winners and losers from the Matthew Stafford-Jared Goff trade:

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack is a writer for OutKick where he reports and analyzes the latest topics in media, culture, sports, and politics..

Burack has become a prominent voice in media and has been featured on several shows across OutKick and industry related podcasts and radio stations.


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  1. In the short term the Rams slightly improved…but in the long term they are going to be a Cubs like dumpster fire after the bubble pops. They better get that Lombardi trophy in the next two years or it’ll be for nothing.

  2. I would be absolutely thrilled as a Lions fan. This is exactly the fresh start that organization needed.

    I will be taking Rams unders on W/L next year as my top unit futures bet. Nothing against Stafford, but these trades rarely work. Big name guy (probably overrated over his career) goes to a team with no draft picks and a ton of star power in a young man’s game … in a loaded division. Yeah no thanks. Rams will win less than 10 next year.

    The best organizations do not trade their draft picks as casually as the Rams. The Chiefs absolute X-Factor in the Super Bowl is 4th round pick L’Jarious Sneed, who they control for 4 years at essentially no cost. Dude has potential to be Tyrann Mathieu level good (no real position, just patrols the slot and shows amazing DB pass rushing skills as well). If you want to win Super Bowls, you need guys like that. You can only pay so many Aaron Donald’s, Matt Stafford’s and Jalen Ramsey’s.

    Rams are a poorly run organization, and it will catch up to them.

  3. What the Rams did to Goff is a disgrace. All the people criticizing Deshaun Watson’s “trade me” stance should also be criticizing the Rams. Apparently it’s just fine when a team doesn’t honor a player’s contract. I guess the days of developing players are over. Now teams just pump and dump talent (Wentz is another good example of this)
    And Stafford won’t be the Rams’ savior – who’s he going to throw to?! The Lions actually had a better WR group than the Rams did this year, and there’s very little LA can do to fix it: they currently don’t have a #1 receiver, no first round draft picks for years, and no cap space to get a high-priced free agent.

  4. Still trying to figure out how the 49ers are losers because they “missed out” on getting a stat padding QB with…oh yeah, ZERO playoff wins? This big-armed Kirk Cousins with a bad back isn’t moving the needle for any team, much less SF. The Niners were a M*A*S*H unit by Week 5 and I would put a WAY BETTER training staff ahead of “dream landing” Stafford (and IOL help to boot). This is “Madden GM” BS at its finest.

    Not your best work, Bobby and I say that as someone who enjoys your writing.

  5. I think the Rams are winners but they have to get to Super Bowl next year. I still see the Brian Billick haze all over McVay, the defense kept the team respectable the last two years and Goff’s regression is on him. The DC that revitalized the defense is gone, I think this is a very underrated loss. The Lions won, depending on how competent their new organization is, they could be the next Dolphins. Texans won, now they can get as much as they want for Watson and always use what the Lions got as the bar his value and an out not trading him. Watson lost. No way the Dolphins are given up all that for him, this year’s and next’s draft for him plus Tua (a top 5 pick). The Jets might give the Texans all they want but is that really a win for Watson. I think Sam Darnold is a winner as well. If the Jets do pull trigger on Watson, he will finally get traded to a decent organization that can take advantage of his talent. If they don’t they will have to significantly upgrade their line and weapons to save face for not getting Watson. Adam Gase is a loser, he just sucks.

  6. No doubt Matt Stafford is a top half of the league QB talent and a class guy to boot, but he has only four winning seasons in 12 years, no playoff wins, and not a single division title! This is in the NFC North where even Mitch Trubisky won the division once. I know that it’s not all his fault. The Lions have shown plenty of disfunction over the years, but Matt should have produced more especially the seasons when the division was bad. I wish him well, but expectations in LA will likely exceed actual production and wins.

  7. So the real value of a third, and two firsts is $43 million. As long as Rodgers remains in Green Bay then the Rams and Stafford have won. If Rodgers is available, then this was premature in the yet to be determined market.

  8. I’m a struggling Lions fan – it’s incredible how all of our Detroit franchises have fallen in the last ten years. Here’s a thought: Deal Goff. I think Wentz has more upside than Goff, and nearly an identical contract. Wentz and a 2022 2nd for Goff. The Lions would be still crappy with either, but Philly wants to deal Wentz, why not?

  9. QB play is not what has been holding Detroit back the last 10 years, but everyone immediately looks there if a team isn’t winning. The Lions are horrible on defense and can’t run the know, like the last couple decades. No one can win with that setup, especially in their division. You may not be a running team, but you have to be able to run it enough to make the defense respect it, eat clock, protect a lead, and protect your QB. Stafford did everything you could ask. One stat no one apparently knows about Stafford is that I’m 95% sure he has more come back wins and game-winning drives in the last 10 years than any QB in the NFL. The guy was all Detroit HAD. The Rams are getting a guy who is going to be hungry to stick it to everyone.

    The two first round picks should help move them towards much needed talent depth. The problem is Detroit management is picking and developing them.

  10. Jared Goff has been a horrific bust and giving him that extension 2yrs ago should’ve gotten any GM fired. I don’t know the dead cap money they’ll get from Goff, but to be able to ship his ass off was going to cost some serious draft capital either way. At least in this scenario they got a competent QB who could work wonders now that he’s out of that dumpster fire. It’s a win/win for both teams and the Lions will suck terribly with Goff which is the point when you’re rebuilding.

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