It’s been a rough couple years for Jared Goff, the Rams’ former No. 1 overall pick-turned-$134 million man. Since signing his massive extension after a Pro Bowl season in 2018, Goff has posted back-to-back seasons with a passer rating of 90 or less, throwing 42 touchdowns to 29 interceptions in that span.
In 2020, the Rams went 10-6 and made the playoffs behind the league’s No. 1 defense, but Goff proved to be a weak link on a roster chock full of talent. On Wednesday, less than two years after giving him the most guaranteed money in NFL history at the time, Rams GM Les Snead had some curious comments when asked if finding a new quarterback was a possibility.
“Moving on from Jared Goff, the money we’ve invested, that isn’t easy to overcome … [but] anything can be done in a cap-based system,” Snead said, per Greg Beacham of the Associated Press.
It’s not exactly a ringing endorsement, and rumors have already swirled about a souring relationship in Los Angeles. NFL Network reported last week that the relationship between Goff and head coach Sean McVay was “not great,” and that the two need “marriage counseling.” McVay started backup John Wolford in the Rams’ wild-card game against the Seahawks, although Goff, who was recovering from a thumb injury, ended up relieving him. After the Rams’ divisional-round loss to the Packers, McVay said Goff was his quarterback “right now.”
The question then would become how to move on from Goff if they choose to bring in a different starter. Trading him would carry a dead-cap charge of only $22 million for Los Angeles, but they would have to find a team willing to take on his inflated contract.
Goff still has $43 million of guaranteed money left on his deal, per Over the Cap, spread out over the next two years. That’s a hefty sum for a quarterback that has, at best, been league average. And Goff has benefitted from playing under McVay, one of the better offensive minds in football. Despite a number of teams being quarterback-needy, it seems unlikely even the most desperate team would take a chance on Goff at that price.
Cutting him would be a non-starter, as the Rams would face a dead-cap hit over $65 million if they did so. Los Angeles has a fairly easy out after the 2022 season, so it seems likely Goff remains on their roster for at least two more years.
The question is whether he will do so as the starter or as a ridiculously overpaid backup. Investing in a starting-caliber QB seems like a tall task considering how much the Rams owe Goff – but, as Snead said, “anything can be done.”