You’re going to think this is an April Fool’s joke, but hear me out and then decide if I’m kidding.
Argument #1 for why the Seahawks should trade for Jared Goff
Jared Goff is better than Drew Lock. He’s better than Geno Smith. He’s better than Jacob Eason. Hell, he’s probably better than the combination of Lock + Smith + Eason in 2022 (and beyond).
Jared Goff’s best season was 2018 when he completed 364 of 561 passes (64.9%) for 4,688 yards with 32 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. The Rams went 13-3 that year and represented the NFC in the Super Bowl.
Drew Lock’s best season was his rookie season (2019). Yes, he had more yards in 2020, but he also went 4-9 that year. In 2019, Lock was 4-1 while completing 100 of 156 passes (64.1%) for 1,020 yards with 7 TDs and 3 INTs. There’s a reason Pete Carroll is trying to hang his hat on how Lock looked as a rookie (and, yes, Pete’s got blinders on).
Geno Smith’s best season was also his rookie season - way back in 2013. 16 games played; 8-8 record; 247 of 443 passing (55.8%); 3,046 yards; 12 TDs and (gulp!) 21 interceptions. Ouch! To be fair, I could have picked 2021 since Geno went 65 of 95 (68.4%) for 702 yards with 5 TDs and only 1 INT but it felt a bit disingenuous (even if it’s basically the entire argument for re-signing him for 2022).
Jacob Eason’s best season was ... well, he only saw action in one season (2021) so that’s the winner by default: 2 of 5 passing for 40 yards with 0 TDs and 1 INT. Go Huskies!
The Detroit Lions paid his $15.5M roster bonus a couple weeks ago. That means he would only cost Seattle $10.65M in base salary in 2022. And, with a simple restructure (which doesn’t even require Goff’s approval), the Seahawks could convert $9M of his base pay into a signing bonus, spread it out over the 3 years remaining on his current contract, and drop his 2022 cap hit to a mere $4.65M.
The draft compensation would likely be future picks.
The thought here is that the Lions won’t trade Goff until they draft his replacement and they won’t commit to drafting his replacement until they figure out if another team is willing to overpay for the 2nd overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
If no one bites at the #2 pick then I think it’s a near certainty that the Lions will overreach and grab Malik Willis with the pick. In fact, the only thing I think could change that, aside from another team overpaying for the pick, is if the Jacksonville Jaguars pass on Aidan Hutchinson at #1.
And therein lies the reason for the delay - both in a potential trade, and in Detroit tipping their hand and saying they’re “all in” on the idea of drafting Malik Willis (when pretty much everyone already knows they’re in love with him).
From the Lions’ side of things, the math looks like this:
Someone overpaying for #2 > Hutchinson > Willis > any other option with the #2 pick.
Pretty simple, right?
And although the prevailing theory is that Willis should sit behind a veteran for a year before being handed the keys to an offense, I don’t see that happening if Detroit is the team that drafts him. Especially not when they’re likely to be looking at another top-5 pick next year, regardless of who QB1 is in 2022.
Obviously, this could be a draft-day trade with picks in this year’s draft trading hands in exchange for Jared Goff. But if I’m the Lions, there are two compelling reasons to wait:
- I would want to get Willis “in the building” and give him a few weeks with the playbook before shipping the incumbent starter out of town; and
- Trading Goff after June 1st would keep $10M in dead money from accelerating onto their cap this year.
He pretty much already knows the offensive system that Shane Waldron wants to run. And he’s been fairly successful in it. Dude played 5 seasons for the Rams, started 69 games for them (not counting playoffs), completed 1,536 of his 2,421 passes (63.4%) for 18,171 yards (263.3 per game) with 107 touchdowns, 55 interceptions, and a passer rating of 91.5 while with the FTRs.
For what it’s worth, over those same 5 seasons (2016-2020), Russell Wilson’s stat-line (across 80 starts) was 1,697 of 2,600 (65.3%) for 19,972 yards (249.7 per game) with 161 touchdowns, 47 interceptions, and a passer rating of 101.6.
Yes, RW3 was the better QB over that span (and presumably always will be), but Goff’s numbers are at least semi-respectable in comparison - especially on a per-game basis.
And, again, he’s a “known commodity” for Seattle’s OC.
Argument #5 for why the Seahawks should trade for Jared Goff
As hard as it might be for some of us to root for a Goff-led team, it would certainly make the matchups with the Rams a bit more interesting.