If the Los Angeles Rams open training camp with Jared Goff still on the roster, that doesn't necessarily mean that the former No. 1 pick is in the clear to be QB1 for the opener. According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Rams are expected to have an open competition at quarterback between Goff and backup John Wolford this summer so long as Goff is not traded this offseason.
A potential divorce between Goff and the Rams has been building and was really illuminated when Wolford -- who started to impress as early as last summer -- played well in place of Goff when he was sidelined due to injury. In Los Angeles' Week 17 matchup with the Cardinals, Wolford completed 57.89% of his passes for 231 yards and an interception. More importantly, he helped the Rams earn an 18-7 win over Arizona to ensure they'd get into the postseason.
What was particularly interesting about Los Angeles' wild-card matchup with the Seahawks was that Wolford got the start over Goff, who was deemed healthy enough to be active but served as a backup. That time behind Wolford didn't last long, however, after Wolford suffered a neck injury that forced him out of the game and Goff back in under center. Goff was able to help lead the Rams to an upset win but only completed nine passes in the process. He was much more efficient in the divisional round against Green Bay, completing 21 of his 27 passes for 174 yards and a touchdown, but the Rams fell 32-18.
In the aftermath of that loss, Goff's uncertain future with the Rams has taken center stage. Gasoline was dumped on the topic this week when GM Les Snead wouldn't exactly commit to Goff being with the team heading into next season. Head coach Sean McVay was also coy when Goff's standing with the team was brought up following that divisional-round loss to the Packers.
"Not going to get into specifics on (that)," said Snead when asked if Goff will return. "Jared Goff, he's a Ram right now. What's today? It's January 26th."
Despite helping the Rams to Super Bowl LIII, Goff hasn't risen to elite status over the course of his career and the Los Angeles brass could feel like they've hit their ceiling with the 26-year-old.
While they may look to move off him in the coming months, his contract may make things a bit difficult. He owns a cap hit of over $34 million for next season, which is pretty steep considering he hasn't proven to be a bonafide top-10 player at the position. Cutting bait now would also leave $65.5 million in dead cap money hanging over the Rams for 2021. Goff also owns around a $30.9 million dead cap hit for 2022, so it'd be nearly two full seasons before Los Angeles would see any relief by moving on from Goff.
That's likely why there is already thought of him being on the roster by the time training camp begins. That said, he's hardly a lock to be the Week 1 starter.