No NFL trades can be made official until the start of the new year March 17, but on that day the Los Angeles Rams will trade quarterback and former No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff as well as a 2021 third-round pick, 2022 first-round pick and 2023 first-round pick to the Detroit Lions for quarterback and former No. 1 overall pick Matthew Stafford in a true stunner. William Hill Sportsbook has shifted the Rams' odds to win Super Bowl 56 – which so happens to be played in L.A.'s own SoFi Stadium – from +1800 to +1300 on the moneyline. The Rams do host the Lions next regular season with the date TBA.
The deal is the first-ever exchange of former No. 1 overall picks in the common draft era. While it was zero surprise that the Lions traded Stafford, that the Rams were able to unload Goff's massive contract was a shock and why they had to pay such a big price. Stafford, picked first in 2009, also is much better than Goff, whom the Rams traded up for to take first in 2016.
That Rams Super Bowl 56 moneyline originally moved to +1500 but already has dropped to its +1300 number with a bit of action. Stafford has never even won a playoff game. Detroit is one of the three long shots at +10000 along with Houston and the New York Jets. The Lions are one of four active franchises (Browns, Jaguars, Texans) to never play in a Super Bowl.
SportsLine's advanced computer model has simulated the entire 2021 season 10,000 times and says the Rams improve by about a half-win with Stafford, moving to 8.3 victories from 7.9 (see below). L.A. was 10-6 this past season, with Goff missing a Week 17 win over Arizona due to injury.
Neither Rams coach Sean McVay nor GM Les Snead guaranteed that Goff would be their 2021 starter following a very uneven season. Snead clearly doesn't care about first-round picks as the Rams haven't had once due to trades since taking Goff and now won't until 2023 (already had traded away 2021 first-rounder to Jacksonville in Jalen Ramsey deal) barring acquiring one from another team.
Again, even though the trade isn't official, the Rams' official Twitter account posted (see above): "Hey @ClaytonKersh22, have you heard from an old friend today? 👀"
Stafford and Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw are friends from their high school days at Highland Park in Dallas. Stafford also owns an estate in Newport Coast, southeast of Los Angeles. For what it's worth, Stafford is 5-11 straight up all-time against NFC West opponents. Goff is 4-2 vs. the NFC North. The California native has historically struggled in cold weather, so welcome to Chicago and Green Bay (where the Rams lost in the divisional round of the playoffs; Minnesota has a domed stadium).
It will be very interesting to see if the Lions take a quarterback with the No. 7 overall pick in the draft as was presumed before the trade. This deal takes them out of the running to trade for Houston's Deshaun Watson. The 49ers, Colts, Panthers and Washington Football Team also reportedly were heavy after Stafford. All four have been mentioned as potential Watson landing spots, too.
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