Everyone has an opinion on the blockbuster Lions-Rams deal that broke Saturday night. I do, too, but you’re probably not surprised to hear that my opinion differs from most. To me, it was a balanced deal. I might even give the Rams the edge. Here’s why:
- All first-round picks are not the same. In the NFL, teams look at picks as top 5-10, then everything else. The Rams make the playoffs regularly. Late first-rounders are practically second-rounders.
- The Goff deal was an albatross around the Rams’ neck. They were not gonna be able to progress without making a change, and it wasn’t going to be easy.
- The Bucs were 6-10 last year. They are in the Super Bowl next weekend. Quarterbacks matter.
With all this said, Senior Personnel Executive John Dorsey gives the Lions a chance to make this trade a win for the Lions in a couple years, after all the picks are made. Dorsey is one of the top 5-10 evaluators in the business.
Here’s what some of my friends with years of experience in the game said:
- Greg Gabriel, former XFL and NFL scouting executive (Bears): “To me, the Lions won. I’m not a Stafford fan yet they still got two firsts and a third rounder for Goff (not a Goff fan, either). Both QBs have issues. Goff has regressed and Stafford hasn’t won going back to college. He puts up great numbers but his team always loses.”
- Randy Mueller, two-time NFL GM (Saints and Dolphins): “I like the trade for the Rams. They off-loaded $42M in guarantees for a player they had given up on. Upgraded without a doubt with a guy who easily plays five years (that’s long-term now-a-days). More accurate, more athletic within the pocket and way more consistent passer. Those first-round picks will be late in the first round and it’s just the price to unload cap dollars. From Detroit side, they still don’t have a quarterback for the future. I love draft picks but unless they can find a way to get in the top two or three this year, finding a quarterback will have to wait.”
- Blake Beddingfield, former Titans scouting executive: “Lions (won the trade). Young starting-caliber QB and three draft choices. I would have liked to see the other offers.”
- Doug Whaley, former Bills GM: “Lions in my opinion. They get rid of an aging talent that has proven he can’t win in the playoffs for them. Get a young QB who has proven he can take you to the Super Bowl for 20-something-a-year cap hit, then add the draft capital the next three drafts to put yourself in position to draft a high QB to put in the wings and still have some high picks to build the foundation. . . . (Rams) are win-now and Detroit is in build-a-foundation-to-their-run (mode). I don’t think there was a loser. Each got what they needed where they are as a club.“
We’ll discuss more of the business of the game in our Friday Wrap, which arrives in email inboxes at 7:30 p.m. ET at the end of the week. Register for it here.