I'm sure the Rams WON'T regret giving Goff all that money
There’s no good way to start this blog other than to say the real Rams are back and better than ever.
And by that I mean they suck and have painted themselves into a corner. I’m not only talking about their current predicament this season but, sure, we can start there. The LA Rams went from being division leaders to Wild Card front-runners to Wild Card bubble team, all in the span of about a month. And during COVID-19, a month is essentially 5 years.
There’s a 75% chance they’ll make the playoffs. But there’s also a 25% LA will miss the playoffs, and 25% is more than enough for the Rams to choke and die on.
If the Rams lose to the Arizona Cardinals and the Chicago Bears defeat the Green Bay Packers, LA is eliminated from the postseason. Again, there’s a good chance the Bears will lose. BUT THEN AGAIN, ol’ Mitch Tribusky looked pretty good against a Jaguars team that is not good. And the Rams will rely on John Wolford, an AAF stud and quite possibly Kurt Warner-incarnate according to Mina Kimes, random Twitter profiles and resident Jazzercise-enthusiast Sosa Kr---, Sosa Kra---, uhm, the shirtless guy who sometimes appears on the Beyond the Horns podcasts and writes for some football math site.
Author’s note: I just remembered. Sosa writes for Downtown Rams.
The Cardinals are also relying on a back-up who I don't care to Google at this point.
Could Wolford be good? Sure. Maybe. I’ve heard nothing but good things about his football IQ and his athleticism, two things Jared Goff is severely lacking, especially in the last two seasons. Wolford also has a healthy thumb, something Goff has been lacking since Sunday.
This brings me to the other corner the Rams painted themselves into: being grossly committed to Jared Goff.
For context, I like Goff. I think he’s a decent quarterback and was a believer in his progression during the peak of his Rams career (2017 and 2018). After the Super Bowl, it seemed like he was truly a pillar for the future. There were a few concerns, sure. But the Rams’ 24-8 record during that stretch — and a Super Bowl appearance — made those concerns irrelevant. The Super Bowl loss sucked, but I thought the Rams and their franchise quarterback had nowhere to go but up.
Which is the very nature of being a Rams fan — raising your irrational hopes only to be let down in the worst possible way.
Two years later and LA now needs to claw their way to the postseason just so they can be eliminated in the first round and the guy they sunk the most guaranteed money into isn’t even going to help them get there. Even if he was healthy.
Nor was Goff really all that responsible for getting them to this point. If anything, the Rams have made it this far (a winning record, a possible postseason berth) in spite of what Goff has done.
Which is play football poorly.
And the cherry on top of all this? The Rams have to eat s**t (loads of money) in order to get rid of Goff and start over with another franchise quarterback. That’s why I said the Rams are back and better than ever. Being anchored to an okay quarterback is a vintage-Rams situation. Not too long ago, it was Sam Bradford, whose constant injuries made it impossible for him to establish himself as a legitimate answer at quarterback, worthy of the team’s massive investment.
Goff, meanwhile, is limited by the ceiling he’s already run into.
Remember in Finding Nemo when the fish escape from the dentist’s tank and reach the ocean? That’s Jared Goff. He’s reached the point where he can take off and truly come into his own. But he’s stuck in a plastic bag because — that’s it. That’s as good as he’s going to get.
Name a player who got better playing with Goff. Name a time when Goff put the Rams on his back and won the game for them. Recall a time when it was late in the fourth quarter and you were confident Goff would not screw this up.
When things are good, Goff can be good, not great. When things are bad, Goff becomes undone and predictable. He fails to execute or turns the ball over. Sean McVay’s entire speech pattern is coded with “coach speak.” He doesn’t break from the vaguely positive, “it falls on me” routine. Yet, Goff’s play was so bad (14 turnovers in 11 games), it caused a glitch in the matrix and McVay got REAL blunt.
“It’s taking care of the football,” he said after the Week 12 loss to San Francisco. “Our quarterback has got to take better care of the football.”
Drop all the stats you want in defense of Goff. It doesn’t change how Goff plays and impacts a game.
Goff commands more than $25 million over the next three years thanks to the extension he signed at the beginning of last season. Was that extension ill-advised? Well, it depends.
Extending Goff beyond his rookie deal during a period where his potential was increasing? Good idea.
Giving Goff over $110 million in guaranteed money with a near-$30 million annual cap hit every season and a massive hit in dead cap if the Rams decide to get rid of him?
NOT GREAT, BOB!
The Rams are essentially stuck with Goff through 2022 because this contract is so stupid and so mind-numbingly unwarranted that I am convinced Kevin Demoff wrote this in one draft before sending it to Goff’s agent.
According to Spotrac, if the Rams cut Goff before June 2021, it’s $94 million in dead cap and $71.8 million after June. Release him after the 2021 season? It’s between $30 million in dead cap before June and $22.3 million after.
The earliest opportunity to cut ties comes in 2023 because a pre-June cut is just $8.6 million in dead cap.
Is the future bright? I don’t know. No one knows. But my best guess is “no” if Jared Goff is the starting quarterback. And if I’m wrong, I’m just going to pull a Colin Cowherd and tweet about how I was right about Jared Goff the entire time.