“As the quarterback, as the guy that’s at arguably the most important position on the field, if you’re in a place that you’re not wanted and they want to move on from you, the feeling’s mutual,” Goff told the Los Angeles Times. “You don’t want to be in the wrong place. It became increasingly clear that was the case.”
On Saturday, the Rams traded Goff, along with two first-round picks and a third-round pick, to the Lions in exchange for quarterback Matthew Stafford.
Goff, the No. 1 pick in the 2016 NFL draft, told the Los Angeles Times that he was unsure when the Rams decided he would not be part of their future.
“That’s the tough part right now is trying to figure that out, when did that happen?” Goff said. “Those are all conversations that I may or may not have, and try to figure it out. That’s the conversation to have.”
After a season-ending loss to the Green Bay Packers in a divisional playoff game, Rams coach Sean McVay was asked if Goff was the quarterback. “Yeah, he’s our quarterback, right now,” McVay said.
Ten days later, Rams general manager Les Snead would not commit to Goff’s long-term future with the team during a videoconference, telling reporters, “Jared Goff is a Ram right now. So, what’s the date? Jan. 26.”
Neither the Rams nor the Lions can publicly comment about the trade until it is official at the start of the new league year on March 17.
After McVay’s arrival in 2017, Goff led the Rams to consecutive division titles, an NFC championship and a Super Bowl LIII appearance, twice earning Pro Bowl recognition.
Before the 2019 season, Goff signed a four-year, $134 million extension that guaranteed $110 million.
However, the offense regressed in 2019 and continued its downward turn last season despite a 10-6 finish and a wild-card playoff win. Goff finished his final season in L.A. passing for 3,952 yards and 20 touchdowns with 13 interceptions.
But since 2019, Goff ranks second in the NFL with 38 turnovers.
Following the trade, Goff said he overcame an initial feeling of disappointment and grew excited after connecting with the Lions’ staff, which includes general manager Brad Holmes, the Rams’ former director of college scouting who had a voice in drafting Goff.
“You start to feel, I don’t want to say ‘relief’ is the word, but you start to feel happy, grateful, ready for a new opportunity,” Goff said. “That’s the biggest feeling that I was overcome with that night, and even in the days following.”
After playing five seasons in L.A., Goff said he would not let a disappointing ending tarnish his lasting memories.
“Obviously, the ending wasn’t favorable and wasn’t fun,” Goff said. “But them drafting me No. 1 overall and bringing me to a city that hasn’t had a football team in a long time, being a part of that rebuild after 2016, being able to help bring L.A. football back to prominence, all that stuff I take extreme pride in. It’s something that I’ll always remember.”