The Los Angeles Rams seem unbreakably tied to Jared Goff, but GM Les Snead has invited another idea.
The Los Angeles Rams were done sooner than they wanted to be, but in a broad sense a 10-6 record and a playoff win over the rival Seahawks is a successful season. However, a commitment to quarterback Jared Goff seems to be waning.
After the Divisional Round loss to the Packers, head coach Sean McVay said Goff was the Rams’ quarterback “right now.” There are indications the coach-quarterback relationship has eroded over the last couple seasons, and NFL Network’s Steve Wyche used the term “marriage counseling.”
Despite a serious thumb injury that he was not fully recovered from, Goff was not thrilled he was available but didn’t start in the Wild Card Round against Seattle. If not for John Wolford suffering a neck injury in that game, Goff may not have played in the playoffs.
Rams general manager Les Snead spoke to the media on Tuesday. As expected, the questions about Goff were prevalent.
Goff’s 2020 season can be classified as up-and-down. But his yardage (3,952) and touchdown (20) total were his lowest since 2017, with drop-offs virtually everywhere except completion percentage. Turnovers (13 interceptions and four lost fumbles), at times in bunches, were a particular issue.
The Rams signed Goff to a four-year, $134 million new money contract extension (with a then-record $110 million guaranteed) in September of 2019. Going into his fourth season, there was no particular urgency to commit that kind of deal to Goff.
Goff has a $34.95 million cap hit for 2021, the first year of the new deal. According to Over The Cap, if the Rams traded him before June 1 they would take a $22.2 million cap charge (dead money) and clear $12.75 million in cap space. That’s a nice idea. But given the quality of his play this season, who is going to trade much of anything for him? The Rams have a tough cap situation as it is right now.
The Rams are probably stuck with Goff, perhaps for the next two seasons before it gets way easier to move on. But that doesn’t mean he will or should be guaranteed the starting job. If nothing else, that’s the message McVay and Snead seem to be in lockstep trying to convey.