Jayden's Journal: Lions' QB questions
Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff will make over $20 million next season if he does not exercize an opt-out clause in his contract. Photo from Detroit Lions' Facebook page
By Jayden Hewitt
The Detroit Lions finished their season with a 20-16 win over the Green Bay Packers on Jan. 8.
The win ultimately meant nothing after the Seahawks knocked the Lions out of the playoffs earlier in the day, but it did knock the Packers out of the playoffs.
That game marked the end of a 9-8 season for the Lions, leaving fans pleased, including me.
Truth be told, it was a success even if the playoffs weren’t in the cards. A 1-6 start led me and other fans to believe they were the same ole’ Lions.
Arguably the most notable improvement was offensively, led by second-year Lions’ quarterback Jared Goff.
Goff threw for 4,438 yards and 29 touchdowns with only seven interceptions. He had a passer rating of 99.3.
During the 2021-22 season, Goff’s first with Detroit, there were flashes of brilliance. But his performance left much to be desired and seemed to create an obvious choice for the franchise after the 2022-23 season.
That choice? Draft a quarterback.
But as the 2022-23 season went on, it seemed that choice became much harder, due to Goff’s strong performance.
The Lions in the 2022-23 regular season were the sixth highest-scoring offense in the NFL at 26.6 points per game, but were tied for 28th in points allowed per game in at 25.1.
Those statistics prove there’s no problem in the Lions’ current offense. What those numbers do say is that the Lions need defensive help.
I agree, to an extent, the Lions do need defensive help. But there’s a huge elephant in the room.
That elephant is Jared Goff.
Goff is set to make over $20 million for 2023-24. He has an opt-out clause in his contact before next season, but most believe he will be staying in Detroit. After 2024-25, he’s no longer under contract with Detroit, which begs a question.
Do the Lions want to extend Jared Goff? Surely Goff will demand more than he’s making. While he may be playing well, I don’t think he is worth the long-term investment.
I do believe the Lions have time, but taking a quarterback in the 2023 NFL Draft with either the sixth or 18th pick would allow a future replacement, who will be much cheaper, to sit behind Goff and learn.
Rather than moving on abruptly and urgently needing a quarterback after Goff’s contract ends, someone will be waiting.
Making the decision to move on from Goff after his contract ends would give the Lions plenty of financial flexibility. The extra cap space would allow the Lions to sign impact free agents, as the talented youth movement builds chemistry.