The Los Angeles Rams took a big risk by trading two first round picks and a third round pick in exchange for quarterback Matthew Stafford. The biggest question of the trade is whether or not it will pay off and did they truly get that much better at the quarterback position.
What did Chris Simms have to say about Stafford?
Former NFL quarterback and NFL analyst for NBC joined Michael Holley and Michael Smith on Brother from Another and this is what he had to say about the trade. It’s a long quote, so I’ll break it down into two parts:
“Listen, you can certainly win with Jared Goff, there’s no doubt about that. We’ve seen that. He’s proved that. I respect him a lot. He’s tough. The way he played in the playoff game, dealing with a broken thumb. I have a lot of respect for Jared Goff. But I do think this is a big-time improvement for the Los Angeles Rams football team. They have a player now at quarterback in Matthew Stafford, who really, for me is twice as good as Jared Goff and half the price. That’s a win-win for the Rams.”
Listen, there is no denying that the Rams are getting a better quarterback with Matthew Stafford. The biggest question is just how much better is Stafford better than Goff. There’s no denying what Goff did with the Rams. However, could the Rams have gotten the same, if not better results, from a better quarterback. According to Simms, Stafford is twice as good as Goff.
A good point by Simms as well, and it’s an important one, Stafford comes at nearly half the price. When the Rams signed Goff a little less that two years ago to an extension, the thought was that he would continue to develop. The issue is, he didn’t develop how they would have liked. In fact, it’s easy to say that he regressed after 2018.
Stafford is going to cost the Rams about $20M a year. With a one-year extension, the Rams will have an opportunity to make that number even slightly lower. Instead of paying Goff $35M, the Rams will be paying Stafford less than half of that for a quarterback who is, as Simms says, twice as good.
What effect will Stafford have on the Rams offense?
The next question then has, what effect will Stafford have on the Rams offense. Here’s what Simms had to say on that:
“With McVay, I think he looks at his team and goes, ‘hey, we’re kind of ready. We’re kind of getting back into the Super Bowl window. We only need one, two or three spots to improve.’ And I think the quarterback I think was the biggest one. That’s where I think you’re going to see the offense be more dangerous and explosive. Now those play actions and bootlegs, McVay is going to be able to design some different route combinations with a guy like Stafford who truly is one of the greatest throwers in the history of the NFL. That is going to open up their offense a little bit and open up McVay’s playbook a little bit because they have a guy that can do everything.”
Due to Stafford’s arm talent, ability to move in and around the pocket, and just his knowledge of that game that comes with experience, the Rams are going to be able to do more. Stafford was one of the better deep ball throwers in the NFL last season whereas Goff was one of the worst. If the Rams can sign a vertical threat, the offense should be able to create more chunk plays and look similar to what it did in 2018.
Stafford has one of the best arms in the NFL. He was doing things that Patrick Mahomes does with no-look passes before Mahomes was doing them. People never took notice because he played for the Detroit Lions and Lions weren’t good.
Rams fans should be excited about Matthew Stafford and what he’ll do for Sean McVay and the offense. It’s going to be a long wait until we finally get to see him in horns in August.