The Price is...High
The NFL season isn’t even technically over yet, and the offseason fireworks have begun.
The news broke last night that the Los Angeles Rams and Detroit Lions have agreed to a trade where the Rams send QB Jared Goff, a 3rd round pick and two 1st round picks to Detroit for veteran QB Matt Stafford.
The trade comes after Goff taking the Rams to the Super Bowl a number of years ago and the playoffs this year. Meanwhile, Stafford has been in Detroit for more than a decade after being the first overall pick in 2009.
The Lions had announced in previous weeks that they were looking to move on from Stafford. The conventional wisdom thought he would be released and get signed somewhere. But the Lions new regime were wheeling and dealing.
Stafford is a good QB. He is up there with some of the greats when it comes to passing yards and touchdowns. The guy's career was destined to fail, like anything that goes to Detroit. The ineptitude of the Lions over the past 50 years is enough to prove my point. Stafford almost single handedly carried the Lions to a couple of playoff appearances in the past decade but that was the peak of his success. Looking at it from Stafford’s perspective, this is finally his chance to succeed and maybe get into the playoffs. He now has some serious weapons and a defense that includes Aaron Donald. This is Stafford’s last hurrah in the NFL and I hope he does well.
Now, let’s take a look at the price the Rams paid for the aging Stafford. They gave a king's ransom to the Lions. First of all, they get a pretty ok QB in Jared Goff. Goff isn’t great by any stretch, but he is serviceable for a year or so. That isn’t the good part. They also got two 1st round picks and a 3rd round pick for this veteran QB. This gives the Lions the ability to change their franchise. They could pick two possibly dynamic players, or package these picks to trade up in the draft or trade for that franchise player. Unfortunately, knowing the Lions, they’ll probably screw it up but there’s potential.
This trade brings me to Houston where dynamic young QB Deshaun Watson has requested a trade. First off, you can’t blame the guy. They’ve traded away his all talent and possibly the best receivers in the game for an aging running back. The guy must be pissed.
We all know that the QB is the most important and valued position in football. You can have all the talent you want on the field, but if you have some scrub throwing the ball, nothing good is going to happen.
Unfortunately for Watson, when he woke up and saw how much Stafford went for he just had to wonder if any team could pay a high enough price for him.
Like I said, Stafford is good. He isn’t Watson good, but he’s good. If Staffoed is worth two first round picks, Watson may be worth about 7. Now, things are a little different because Watson demanded the trade and teams know that he won’t play for Texans. That will drive the price down a bit, but it is still going to be a monster trade.
Now the Texans have no choice to trade the guy, and there will be a team to pay for him. I think that is going to be an interesting situation to watch as the offseason continues.
WIll there be a team that will throw their whole draft at the Texans in order to get Watson? Of course there will be. There are some teams that come to mind.
First off, the Jets have never been shy to throw some money and draft capital around. And they have some high picks to work with. For the Texans as an organization, this would be the best trade partner.
Now there is always the possibility of a QB swap out there with a team like the Packers. I could see them trading MVP Aaron Rodgers for Watson. As far as Watson is concerned, this would be fantastic. Too bad it is horribly unlikely.
The most likely thing I think is, Watson stays in the state of Texas and ends up a Dallas Cowboy. Jerry Jones is just crazy enough to send everything over to Houston to acquire a superstar. As a consolation prize, the Texans could accept the trade and then go ahead and sign Dak Prescott as their new QB which isn’t the worst thing. And then rebuild the talent pool with the draft picks they have. This trade would make the Cowboys instant contenders and quite honestly an easy NFC East favorite. This in-state trade would really shake up both conferences and turn the NFC Least into the Cowboys division to lose.