How about a quarterback swap of former #1 picks? The Detroit Lions sent Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams in a trade for Jared Goff and a slew of picks, including two first-rounders. Once news of the Goff/Stafford trade broke, the LA Rams saw their Super Bowl odds move to +1500 at some betting shops in Las Vegas.

Jared Goff Matt Stafford trade QB LA Rams Detroit Lions
Quarterbacks Matthew Stafford (left) and Jared Goff (right) will switch teams in a trade after the Detroit Lions shipped Stafford to the LA Rams for Goff and draft picks. (Images: Getty)

The Detroit Lions selected Stafford, who played his collegiate ball in Georgia, with the first pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. The LA Rams selected Goff, out of Cal, with the #1 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.

The Goff/Stafford trade marks the first time in the “modern era” where teams swapped the first pick in the draft.

Matthew Stafford Jared Goff
2021 Round 3 Pick
2022 Round 1 Pick
2023 Round 1 Pick

The Rams upgraded their quarterback to stay competitive in a tough NFC West division that also has Russell Wilson and Kyler Murray. The Stafford-led Rams will be a favorite to win the NFC West for the first time since back-to-back division titles 2017 and 2018.

So, now will San Francisco upgrade their QB, or ride or die with Jimmy G?

Stafford to Rams Betting Implications

The LA Rams saw their odds to win Super Bowl 56 bump from +2000 to +1600, according to the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas.

William Hill in Las Vegas posted the Rams at +1500 odds to win next year’s Super Bowl. At DraftKings, the Rams are only +1100 Super Bowl odds.

The Rams improved to +500 odds to win next season’s NFC Championship, according to the last update by DraftKings. The Detroit Lions are +4000 odds to win the NFC.

Second Act in Hollywood

Stafford, 32, tossed for 26 touchdowns and 4,084 yards this season. In every full season he’s played, Stafford passed for at least 20 touchdowns. He passed for more than 4K yards at least eight times, and went north of the 5K mark once in his magical 2011 season. That year, Stafford threw 41 touchdowns and for 5,038 yards with just 16 interceptions. Stafford has 282 career touchdowns and ranks #16 all-time in NFL history. He should become the 13th member of the 300 TD Club sometime next season.

The Rams are just two seasons removed from a trip to the Super Bowl. Sean McVay and the Rams moved all-in on their pursuit of a championship with the acquisition of Stafford.

The Rams had the top defense in the NFL last season (18.5 ppg allowed, #1 defensive DVOA) and, arguably, two of the top defensive players in the game with Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey. The Rams want to win now, which is why they sacrificed every first-round pick through 2024. Then again, the Rams believe they were only really giving up late first-round picks, since they have lofty expectations of going deep into the postseason over the next few seasons.

Numerous teams aggressively went after Stafford, including Washington. Bookies set prop bets that indicated that the San Francisco 49ers or Indianapolis Colts were the favorites to land Stafford.

Stafford only had one restriction about being traded, and didn’t want the Lions to trade him to the New England Patriots.

Goff Goes to the Big D

Goff, 25, led the LA Rams to a Super Bowl berth in his third season in the league. The team rewarded him with a lucrative contract extension worth $134 million over four seasons, with $110 million of that guaranteed.

During the 2018 season, Goff passed for 4,688 and 32 touchdowns; both numbers were career highs. Goff had a rough season in 2019 and the Rams (9-7) missed the playoffs. Despite a career-high in completions (394) and attempts (626), he threw only 22 touchdowns. He also tossed a career-high 16 interceptions.

Goff bounced back in 2020 and the Rams went 10-6. He completed 67% of his passes for a new career-high, but only connected on 20 touchdowns in 15 games. Despite 10 wins, the Rams’ top-rated defense was the main reason they secured a wild-card spot.

Goff fractured his thumb in Week 16. He underwent surgery and missed the final game of the season. Backup John Wolford did such a good job in Week 17 that McVay tapped him to start in the wild-card round. Wolford suffered a neck injury against the Seahawks, and Goff was forced into action. He helped the Rams beat the Seahawks on their own turf to advance to the divisional round. However, Goff couldn’t get the Rams’ offense flowing, and they lost 32-18 to the Green Bay Packers.

Stafford/Goff Trade Money Details

Brad Holmes, Detroit’s new general manager, previously worked for the LA Rams as their head of college scouting. Holmes scouted Goff at Cal and recommended that the Rams select him over Carson Wentz with the top pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. He still has faith in Goff as a pro quarterback. He also has a close relationship with the Rams’ general manager, Les Snead.

The Rams were able to unload Goff’s hefty salary ($27.8 million) on another team, but in exchange for a salary hit, the Lions were able to accumulate much-needed draft capital as they plan to rebuild for the future.

In 2021, Stafford earns only $20 million, including a base salary of $9,500,000 and a roster bonus worth $10 million. He’ll earn $23 million in 2022 before becoming a free agent in 2023. If all works out in Hollywood next season, expect the Rams to sign Stafford to an extension.

Numerous teams called the Rams to inquire about Goff, but the salary was always the point of contention.

The Rams are on the hook for $22.2 million in dead-money with Goff’s salary-cap hit. The Lions incur a $19 million cap hit for trading Stafford.

Now that Stafford is off the market, will Deshaun Watson end up with the LOL Jets or will some other team, like the Miami Dolphins, make an offer that the Houston Texans can’t refuse?