Sean McVay is basking in the glow of his new quarterback out in Los Angeles, calling Matthew Stafford "better than advertised" as he reflects on the Rams' move to swap Jared Goff for the longtime Lions signal-caller. But the Lions aren't necessarily glum over the move from Stafford to Goff in Detroit either. Months after Stafford's requested relocation, new Lions general manager Brad Holmes tells Mike O'Hara of the team's official website that Goff is more than a "bridge option," and just might be Detroit's future at QB.
"I never viewed him as a bridge option," Holmes said of Goff. "He's been a winning quarterback. I think his resume speaks for itself."
"The outside narrative," Holmes said earlier in the week, "has been like, 'Oh, you got the guy for two years to bridge and then that's it.' OK, I can name you some stopgaps. I wouldn't say (he is one). ... Before the trade, I remember (Rams GM) Les (Snead) asked me if I wanted Jared and I said, 'Yes, I do want Jared.' He said, 'OK, I'm just asking because I'm getting a lot of calls.' Within that quarterback circle of teams that needed one, Jared was sought after, just as Carson Wentz was sought after, just as Sam Darnold was sought after."
On one hand, Holmes' remarks aren't surprising. Prior to taking over as Lions GM, he served as the Rams' director of college scouting, not only helping Los Angeles draft Goff No. 1 overall back in 2016, but also witnessing firsthand some of Goff's best football in the NFL. Detroit's actions this offseason -- namely passing on a top QB prospect at No. 7 overall in the draft -- reinforced the organization's apparent belief in Goff, at least for 2021.
That doesn't mean the Lions couldn't change course after the season. They collected two additional first-round picks from the Rams in swapping Stafford for Goff, so they'll have more ammunition than most for a potential trade -- on draft day or in free agency. Goff's contract is also structured so that he can be cut to save $650,000 after 2021, or $10.6 million as a post-June 1 release.
In other words, he may very well be a long-term option for the Lions at age 26, but at this point, he's just that: an option.
"We had a lot of work to do when (coach) Dan (Campbell) and I first got in this chair," Holmes tells O'Hara. "Just on the roster. I mean a ton of work -- on both sides of the ball. It's easy to say more work defensively, but we had work to do at all the skill positions, especially when Matt wanted the trade. ... I've said it all the time, and I'll probably always say this: It's not enough. I'm just used to saying that. There's still a lot left to do."