Why the Matthew Stafford-Jared Goff trade is a win-win for both teams

Create: 2021-02-01
Update: 2021-02-01
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Monday, February 1, 2021
Happy February, my friend. Hope you had yourself a wild weekend, because the NFL tried its damned best despite not even being in action -- you know, outside of a virtual Pro Bowl. Speaking of which, here's to hoping you had a better weekend than Jared Goff. Going from living in Los Angeles and playing for a contender to living in Detroit and being stuck with the Lions? I've had some horrible Sunday hangovers, but I can't imagine the pain that would come waking up after that Saturday night experience.
We'll get to that blockbuster trade and more in just a second here, but I also want to point out that today is a day for celebration not just because it's the start of Super Bowl week ... but it's also the end of my time on the TB12 diet. I wish I could say it was fun but, alas, it was not. I absolutely cannot wait to unleash hell on my poor deprived body today. How early is too early to dive head-first into a cheeseburger and some cheap beer?
Oh, and just as a heads up: We've made some ever-so-slight tweaks to the newsletter format and removed the scores section at the bottom. Moving forward, in its place will be "the best thing from last night/this weekend." 
Let's get on with it then.

📰 What you need to know
1. Matthew Stafford traded to Rams in blockbuster deal 🏈
Matthew Stafford's time on the trade block was quite short (like me). The veteran quarterback got his wish and finally managed to escape the oppression of the Detroit Lions when the Lions traded him to the Rams on Saturday ... and what a trade it was. The Rams sent Jared Goff, two first-round picks and a third-round pick to Detroit in the blockbuster deal.
  • Stafford departs as the Lions' all-time leader in completions (3,898) passing yards (45,109), passing touchdowns (282), and quarterback wins (74) but didn't win a single playoff game (0-3) in his 12 years as Lions QB
  • It's the first time two No. 1 overall picks have been traded for each other in the common draft era, which dates back to 1967
  • The Rams inherit the two years and $43 million remaining on Stafford's contract while Detroit will inherit the four years and $106.6 million remaining on Goff's deal
  • If they don't recoup a first-rounder, the Rams are set to go seven consecutive seasons without making a first-round pick (2017-2023)
It's hard not to feel like both teams can be considered winners here (👈 trade analysis from our Cody Benjamin in that link). The Rams made a significant upgrade at QB in an attempt to win right now, and the Lions got themselves a pretty nice haul for a guy who wanted out. I know Goff is not great (to put it kindly) and his contract stinks, but he provides a serviceable replacement for Stafford and he's got no guaranteed money left on his deal, so the Lions could just dump him after this year if they so choose.
And those draft picks? That's the real selling point. 
But, again, Goff is absolutely the biggest loser here. He was in a primo position in a fantastic market, and now all that's gone in an instant because he couldn't throw the ball as well as he should've. The man must have a lot of regrets. But, hey, at least the real estate market is cheaper in Detroit?
2. What the Stafford deal means for Deshaun Watson 🏈
Not long after processing the news of the Stafford-for-Goff swap, my mind got to wondering: If a soon-to-be 33-year-old Stafford can command a starting QB, two firsts and a third ... what is a 25-year-old Deshaun Watson coming off a career year worth? Like, 12 first-round picks?
OK, that might be a little extreme, but it's fair to ask how much this weekend's deal will affect the Watson trade rumors. Houston's new management says it has "zero interest" in trading the quarterback but, uh, he's asked for a trade and they may get backed into a corner. The (relatively) good news is that more than half the league has reportedly called Houston about Watson and now the Texans have even more leverage to ask for a huge haul. 
Our Cody Benjamin details what the asking price might be in wake of the Stafford trade:
  • Benjamin: "As for what the Texans will demand in general, the Houston Chronicle's John McClain suggests the team will want at least two firsts, two seconds and two young defensive starters for Watson. Few teams would likely be willing to go so far, with the New York Jets among the most speculated landing spots, but that price tag sounds about right. In our estimation, it's most likely that Houston would simply ask for more first-rounders -- between three and four, to start -- as the base compensation."   
Also, it's worth remembering that Houston doesn't have a first- or second-round pick in this year's NFL Draft because Bill O'Brien did a great job of driving that bus straight off a cliff. Maybe the need for draft capital will help convince the new management to trade Watson.
3. MLB proposes delayed season to MLBPA ⚾
Now it's time to discuss America's favorite pastime: Baseball owners and players arguing while trying to negotiate the terms of a new season! Luckily, it seems like we're in a never-ending cycle of this fun game and now we've got a new development from the weekend.
  • MLB has proposed a 154-game season with full pay for players
  • The season would be delayed one month and extended one week (March 28 for Spring Training, April 28 for Opening Day)
  • There would be an expanded 14-team postseason (and likely universal DH) as part of the proposal
It sounds like that proposal would include a condensed season full of seven-inning double-headers, in case you were wondering how they'd delay the season a month and only extend one week. And if you're wondering why the owners would want to push back a month, consider this: Money. (It's always about money.) 
Delaying the season by a month increases the chances ballparks would be able to get fans in the stadium for games, thus giving the owners/teams some gate revenue.
So, are players gonna bite? We'll have to wait and see, but this is basically the same proposal that the MLBPA rejected recently except it offers eight fewer games and a delayed start. And if we've learned anything over the past year, it's that nothing comes easy between these two sides.
4. Patrick Reed, involved in rules controversy, wins at Torrey Pines 🏌
We had ourselves an eventful (and somewhat controversial) Farmers Insurance Open this weekend at Torrey Pines. Patrick Reed took home the hardware yesterday by grinding out an emphatic win -- he finished -14, five strokes better than five others who tied at -9 -- but his victory didn't come without some of the frustrating nonsense that we've come to expect from Reed.
  • On Saturday, Reed declared that his ball was embedded on the 10th hole before picking it up and then calling a rules official over to verify
  • Reed got up and down for par from what would have been, and probably should have been, an impossible position on 10
  • Video showed that the ball bounced after it first landed, meaning it would have been nearly impossible for the ball to be embedded
  • Reed's handling of the situation (specifically him picking up his ball before an official arrived) led to a lot of backlash and complaints about his gamesmanship
It was just a bizarre situation that seemed to be handled poorly by almost everyone involved, and Reed didn't seem to want to take any fault for it either. Luckily, the event was decided by more than one stroke, otherwise we'd have a real mess and a giant headache on our hands.
📝 Odds & Ends
  • Maybe you're looking for a 2021 WWE Royal Rumble recap? We've got you covered
  • Damian Lillard hit another wild buzzer-beater to beat the Bulls
  • The NFC won the virtual 'Madden 21' Pro Bowl and Kyler Murray won MVP honors
  • The Rangers waived defenseman Tony DeAngelo after he reportedly got into a fight with a teammate
📺 What to watch tonight
🏒 Penguins vs. Rangers, 7 p.m. | NYR -110 | TV: NBCSN
🏀 No. 24 Oklahoma vs. No. 10 Texas Tech, 9 p.m. | TTU -6.5 | TV: ESPN  
🥇 The best thing from this weekend
While appearing on the Warriors' broadcast, Klay Thompson ruthlessly roasted Pistons guard Rodney McGruder during a postgame altercation.
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