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Blockbuster Trade: Breaking down the Matthew Stafford trade

As the dawn of Super Bowl week approaches, the media frenzy surrounding the biggest game of the year just got a little more complicated.

In what can only be described as a blockbuster trade, the Los Angeles Rams have once again hedged future first-round draft picks to secure their Quarterback of today.

The Detroit Lions and the Los Angeles Rams agreed a deal late Saturday night/early Sunday morning which saw Matthew Stafford, former Number One overall, traded to the west coast in exchange for a couple of first rounder’s and another former first-round pick, Jared Goff.


The terms of the deal are as follows:

LA Receives: Matthew Stafford

Detroit Receives: Jared Goff, 2021 3rd Round Pick, 2022 1st & 2023 1st Round Pick.

Les Snead, General Manager of the Rams, is no stranger to blockbuster trades. In order to acquire Goff back in 2016, Snead moved from 15th to first in the draft order by sending the Titans two firsts, two seconds and two third-round picks in order to move up and eventually draft Jared Goff.

Well, now the Goff experiment is over and the NFC is as wide open as ever. This trade immediately catapults the Rams to the top of the contenders’ list alongside Tampa, Green Bay, New Orleans, and Seattle.  It also significantly impacts the value of any potential Deshaun Watson trade. If Matthew Stafford is worth two first-round picks, one would have to imagine Watson comes close to doubling that value.

When the dust settles on this trade, and we begin to look forward to the 2021 season, there will be a couple of noteworthy points. Firstly, the Rams have moved on from that horrible Jared Goff contract – their new found freedom in cap room means they have some slight breathing room moving forward. The NFC West is a slaughterhouse. No longer can a team lose a game or two with the thought of it being ok. The value of wins in this division has suddenly become astronomical – the premier division to keep an eye on in the new season.

So, where does this trade leave the Lions? Is Jared Goff really their franchise QB moving forward?  You would have to imagine not. Goff may be a stepping stone for a year or two until incoming Head Coach Dan Campbell can finally draft his guy. Their new found draft capita will allow them to put some key figures in place ahead of next season.


As for LA, well, once this trade has run its course the Rams won’t have had a first-round pick for seven years. The work of Snead and McVay is impulsive and is always geared towards a “win now” philosophy.

This trade poses more questions than it does answers, and questions that we won’t know the answers to for close to twelve months when we see how the 2021 season plays out. Will the Rams live up to their new found hype? Can Sean McVay and Matthew Stafford really produce an offense as dynamic as many expect?  Meanwhile in Detroit, will Jared Goff land on his feet? How does he feed into this new system knowing that it’s likely that he isn’t the future?

The draft implications are also huge, it means that one of the touted first-round QBs may be less likely to be taken now that Detroit’s void has been filled. The QB carousel continues to turn in the early months of 2021 with no clear end in sight.

A sporting institution like no other, the NFL continues to prove its position as the source of high drama and entertainment amidst the sporting world even on a weekend where there are no games and continues to grab the headlines. The effects of this trade will linger for a long time and the implications won’t be truly spent until those future first-round picks are spent.

As a fan base, we are in for an incredible journey and one we shouldn’t pass on the opportunity to fully appreciate. Trades and deals of this magnitude are few and far between in the NFL and it’s best to enjoy them while they’re happening.


Michael Lavery writes on behalf of the Irish NFL Show who are in partnership with Pundit Arena. Tune into their Sunday, Monday and Thursday shows every week on Facebook. 

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