The Detroit Lions made what seemed like a fairly insignificant trade on Tuesday when they acquired defensive tackle Michael Brockers from the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for a future seventh-round draft pick. Upon further examination, however, the move was perhaps the most uncomfortable of the offseason.
The Brockers trade was the second between the Lions and Rams this offseason. The first, of course, was when L.A. sent Jared Goff and some draft picks to Detroit for Matthew Stafford. Here’s where it gets a bit awkward.
Brockers was recently asked about that QB swap, and he said going from Goff to Stafford was a “level up” for the Rams.
“Is it a level up? In my heart, deeply, just understanding what [Stafford] brings, it’s a level up [over Goff],” Brockers said earlier this month.
Brockers may have to explain himself, as he and Goff are now teammates once again. Most people would agree with Brockers that Stafford is a better quarterback than Goff, but the veteran defensive tackle made those comments thinking his days of wearing the same uniform as Goff were over.
Goff was already confused by the way his tenure with the Rams ended. At the very least, the Brockers remarks will probably make things a tad more uneasy for him.
The Detroit Lions are looking to build from the ground up after hiring a new head coach and trading quarterback Matthew Stafford. They may now have to replace one of their top wideouts, as well.
The Lions informed wide receiver Kenny Golladay on Tuesday that they will not use the franchise tag on him, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. That means the 27-year-old will be free to test the market.
Golladay and the Lions negotiated a long-term extension at numerous points throughout the past year, but they were never able to reach a deal. Golladay is said to have turned down an offer last year that would have paid him more than $18 million annually, so that should give you an idea of what he is seeking in free agency.
Golladay battled hip and hamstring injuries last season that limited him to just five games. He had 20 catches, 338 yards and two touchdowns.
With another star receiver getting hit with the franchise tag on Tuesday, Golladay could wind up being the best player at his position on the free agent market.
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New Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell had a funny answer to a question about his team’s quarterback situation.
Campbell joined “The Dan Patrick Show” for an interview on Thursday. Campbell isn’t allowed to talk about Jared Goff publicly yet until the trade with the Los Angeles Rams becomes official when the new league year begins on March 17.
So when Patrick wanted to ask Campbell about Goff, the two had to get creative. Patrick asked Campbell what traits he would hypothetically be looking for. Campbell began to describe Goff without actually naming the player.
“You’d love the guy to be blond. You’d love the guy to have a 1 and 6 on his jersey,” Campbell began, jokingly.
Campbell then began to share some serious characteristics about Goff he likes.
“You’re looking for a guy who is a winner, he’s competitive, he’s got a quiet confidence about him. He’s durable.”
Well, nobody can say that Campbell doesn’t have a sense of humor. He’s also showing lately that he’s pretty adept at talking with the media.
The Lions will have Goff as their starting quarterback now that Matthew Stafford is gone. Goff’s peak wasn’t enough for Sean McVay. It’s hard to imagine he will perform better elsewhere, but the Lions are hoping he will.
It would be hard to categorize Matt Patricia’s two-plus seasons with the Detroit Lions as anything other than a failure, and he probably doesn’t need anyone to remind him of that. New defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn has decided to, anyway.
Glenn told reporters this week that he believes the current players on Detroit’s roster have a ton of potential. The issue, he says, is that they were “confused” for much of last season.
“When you look at the players, I think (head coach Dan Campbell) said it, that the players looked confused, I think with no confidence,” Glenn said, via Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk. “What we have to do is we have to do is change that narrative of their thinking so they can go out and play with confidence and play fast.”
Glenn added that the top priority of the new coaching staff is to give players the confidence they need to “let it loose.”
While you wouldn’t expect a new coach to come in and publicly criticize players, Glenn made it clear he believes coaching was the biggest issue in Detroit last season. That obviously reflects poorly on Patricia, though at least one veteran player already hinted that Patricia was the main problem.
Blaming Patricia and staff for things will only take Campbell and his staff so far. Eventually, it will be on them to right the ship. That’s what they were hired for.
The Detroit Lions aimed very, very high in initial trade talks surrounding quarterback Matthew Stafford. Their initial ask of the Los Angeles Rams demonstrates just how high.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Lions initially asked the Rams for defensive lineman Aaron Donald in exchange for Stafford. That obviously went nowhere, and the two sides ultimately did sort out a deal involving Jared Goff and two first-round picks.
It’s doubtful that even the Lions thought that request would go anywhere, and it was probably just a negotiation tactic. In the Lions’ eyes, it couldn’t hurt to ask, and it clearly didn’t jeopardize the chances of making a deal.
The Lions were certainly ambitious in the initial trade talks with the Rams, but the Rams’ initial attempts to upgrade at quarterback were pretty ambitious too.
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Calvin Johnson and the Detroit Lions have not been on good terms since the wide receiver retired nearly five years ago, but it sounds like they have finally begun the process of clearing the air.
Johnson told Justin Rogers of the Detroit News on Sunday that he has had recent conversations with Lions owner Sheila Ford Hamp, and the two sides are moving toward reconciling.
Johnson was officially announced on Saturday night as one of eight members of the 2021 Pro Football Hall of Fame class. Burying the hatchet with the Lions prior to his enshrinement this summer would be a nice step for both sides.
The Lions forced Johnson to pay back a portion of his signing bonus after he retired following the 2015 season, and that soured the relationship between the star receiver and the team. While the exact amount that Johnson paid back has not been disclosed, it is believed to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $1 million. Johnson had signed an eight-year contract with Detroit in 2012.
Johnson said in 2019 that he would only reconcile with the Lions “when they put that money back in my pocket.”
More recently, Johnson said publicly that the Lions once forced him to cover up a concussion he suffered.
It has long been expected that Johnson and the Lions would reconcile someday, similar to how Brett Favre did with the Green Bay Packers. That now seems likely to happen before Johnson is enshrined in Canton.
The Los Angeles Rams feel they have a better chance to contend for a Super Bowl next season with Matthew Stafford under center, but it sounds like both teams feel they were winners in the Stafford-Jared Goff swap.
After he was traded to the Detroit Lions on Saturday, Goff told ESPN’s Jeff Darlington that his new team seems excited to have him. Goff has already spoken with new Lions head coach Dan Campbell, and he said it is clear the team views him as its starter heading into 2021.
The Rams sent two future first-round picks and a future third-round pick to Detroit for Stafford. Given how significant the return was, some have wondered if the Lions simply wanted to buy first-round picks by taking on Goff’s contract. That was likely a factor, but it sounds like they believe in Goff as a starter as well.
Goff signed a four-year, $134 million contract extension with the Rams prior to the 2019 season. The hefty contract is the reason L.A. had to give up so much draft capital to convince the Lions to make the swap.
There is still a chance the Lions could cut Goff after 2022, but they are definitely going to give him a fair shot.
The Los Angeles Rams just got a major upgrade at quarterback.
The Rams traded for Matthew Stafford on Saturday. They are paying a price though. In return for Stafford, the Rams are sending the Detroit Lions Jared Goff, two first-round picks, and a third-round pick.
NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero shared details on what years the picks will be:
The real big haul for the Lions are the two first-round picks, which they need to turn into something good. Goff had his moments under Sean McVay but has proven to be mediocre, and probably will see a big drop in play without the support of the offensive-minded coach.
The Lions’ front office is now headed by former Rams members who believe in Goff though, which helps explain the trade.
Stafford turns 33 in February and has two years left on his contract. He’ll probably throw for 5,000 yards and over 35 touchdowns under McVay, which would be his first time reaching those marks since 2011.
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It does not sound like any Matthew Stafford trade drama will be particularly long-lived.
The Detroit Lions have begun discussing possible Stafford trades with other teams after the two sides mutually agreed to part ways. The Lions are moving quickly, and Albert Breer of The MMQB believes the quarterback could be moved before the Super Bowl.
It’s not a huge surprise that plenty of teams are asking about Stafford. Deshaun Watson may be preferable on the quarterback trade market, but he’s likely to be more expensive, and the Texans haven’t committed to giving him up yet. In contrast, Stafford is clearly available, and while the price will be high, it’s likely to be less than what Watson would cost. Some teams may well find that preferable.
Stafford is coming off a 2020 season that saw him throw for 4,084 yards and 26 touchdowns. The 32-year-old appears to have a pair of clear suitors at this point.
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The Detroit Lions and Matthew Stafford have mutually agreed to part ways this offseason, and at least one NFL insider says the veteran quarterback’s current trade value is substantial.
Peter King of NBC Sports said during an appearance on 106.7 The Fan in Washington, D.C., Thursday that he believes the Lions will get at least a first-round draft pick in return for Stafford. King says there are five or more teams willing to offer a first-rounder.
That meshes with a previous report that indicated the Lions believe they can get at least a first-round pick for Stafford.
Stafford, who will turn 33 next month, threw for 4,084 yards, 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions this season. He has battled some significant injuries in recent years, but he is still a proven starter in a league where many teams need one.
We know of at least one team that may be willing to pay big for Stafford, and it sounds like that interest is mutual.
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