The Los Angeles Rams made quite an investment after parting ways with quarterback Jared Goff, two first-round picks (2022, 2023) and a third-round pick in 2021 for former Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford.
Many felt this was a lot to give up for a quarterback that is still looking for their first career win in the postseason. Stafford is also 33 years old and has just two years and $43 million left on his current deal with the Rams that goes through the 2022 season.
Although it is evident both sides are ready to compete for a Super Bowl as soon as next season, there is not much clarity regarding their long-term future under center. Fortunately, it appears there could be some sort of mutual understanding.
Stafford admits that he is not too concerned about his plans beyond these next two seasons, via Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk:
“As far as in writing goes, I’m not too worried about it,” Stafford said. “My job No. 1 first and foremost, is to play at a high level to help this team win football games. That’s what I’m focused on at the moment. I’ve got a lot on my plate, to be honest, with trying to learn this offense and learning the team. So that’s the biggest and most important thing on my mind. All that other stuff will take care of itself. At the moment, I’ve got two more years left on my deal, so I’m just going to play and let all that other stuff take care of itself.”
It is certainly encouraging to see that Stafford seems to be in win-now mode entering the 2021 NFL season. Given the number of blockbuster trades the Rams have pulled the trigger on in recent years, it is safe to say that there is a mutual understanding.
L.A. will have the next two seasons to evaluate whether or not Stafford is the right man for the job. Given the recent longevity displayed by quarterbacks like Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, there is good reason to be optimistic that his best years are still ahead of him.
In the meantime, the Rams could look for ways to sign Stafford to an extension that would help lower their salary cap in the coming years. Restructuring his contract and offering up some guaranteed money up front could be another option on the table.
Given head coach Sean McVay’s desire to shore up some more firepower, it is certainly in the realm of possibilities.