To say Jared Goff is a controversial figure amongst Rams fans is an understatement. On one hand, he went from being the next in a line of quarterback busts to a real starter who played in a Super Bowl, and by looking at his stats, could be perceived as a solid starter. On the other hand, he’s also a quarterback that rarely LOOKS like a starter and plays as though he’s still trying to get his sea legs.
He’s not very mobile but will galumph his way to a first down if he has to. When given time, he can be accurate enough but under pressure, he is a turnover machine and when all the elements are put together, it can be a frustrating roller coaster ride.
In his last two games where he played on the road in the playoffs less than two weeks after receiving surgeries on his thumb, he actually looked GOOD. If things had gone differently defensively, they could be in the Super Bowl right now. Unfortunately, the perception of Jared Goff is now so polarized that he’s either the MAN and just needs a better line, more weapons, and better play-calling or HE NEEDS TO BE RIDDEN OUT OF LA ON THE BLUE LINE.
It’s no secret that the Rams lack the funds or assets to make a major change at quarterback but there are ways to find a challenger for the starting job.
The Rams can do what they don’t seem to be interested in doing at the coaching level, and promote from within. The most popular option of course is John Wolford. The Wolf of Ball Street might have remained the starter had he not been knocked out by Jamal Adams and it would’ve made sense. In his first start in week 17, he didn’t light up the scoreboard or stat sheet but he gave the offense a shot of adrenaline.
His 231 yards and interception doesn’t look like that of a Goff successor but he could run the ball (he rushed for 56 yards in week 17) and made the options at the line actually MOVE. When Goff runs the same play, defenses blow it up quickly because Goff isn’t fast enough to make it work. In his playoff start in Seattle, he was on his way to the endzone.
Wolfy has the best chance of all the incumbents on the roster to make a splash in camp given he’s already shown everyone what he can do in place of Goff.
Blake Bortles And/Or Devlin Hodges
The other quarterback options on the roster are Jason Mendoza’s hero, Blake Bortles, and the less said about him the better, and new acquisition, Devlin “Duck” Hodges. That’s right, one of the under the radar stories of Championship Sunday was the Rams signing Duckman to a futures contract giving them another mobile quarterback on the roster.
It’s no secret Sean McVay wants a mobile quarterback as that is the present and future of the NFL. Prior to being in LA, the Quack Attack played decently in Pittsburgh but ultimately he wasn’t supplanting Ben Roethlisberger.
If the Rams aren’t happy with their options in-house, there are a few ways they could go in free agency that won’t break the bank. Jacoby Brissett is a semi-mobile option with a deep arm. He played well for the Colts in 2018 but injuries caused him to breakdown towards the end of the season and the Colts decided they’d rather roll the dice on Philip Rivers.
Brissett has a lot of experience as a starter and the Rams have enough of a line and weapons to give him a real chance to do something. He played well in his two starts in New England as well.
Tyrod Taylor And The Free Agent Field
They could also go with the poster child for bridge quarterbacks, Tyrod Taylor. Assuming he no longer has a hole in his chest like Goldie Hawn in “Death Becomes Her”, he could be a stop-gap solution at best. There are more expensive options in free agency such as former MVP and fashion icon Cam Newton. Unfortunately, Cam looked DONE, both in terms of arm strength and mobility.
If the Rams were looking to spend a little more they could make a run at Jameis Winston but if Goff proved to be too much of a heart attack, Winston would downright kill fans. He might eat them Ws but the Crab Man is also prone to throwing picks that even Goff wouldn’t throw.
If they didn’t want to go the free-agent route there is always the draft but given their limited amount of resources, there isn’t really a quarterback that would be worth burning a pick that could otherwise go to an offensive lineman, corner, receiver, or linebacker. Even with all their incoming comp picks it wouldn’t be wise to go with a quarterback unless they were absolutely confident they could come in and supplant Goff or at least develop until they can move on from Goff when it will no longer leave a graveyard of dead cap money.
The Pipe Dreams
There are several disgruntled quarterbacks that could be on the move this off-season including Matt Stafford, Deshaun Watson, and even Aaron Rodgers. They would all thrive in McVay’s offense and all might as well be unobtanium. The Rams have very little in assets compared to the Jets, Dolphins, and god forbid the 49ers.
That hasn’t stopped fans from doing peyote, ayahuasca, or ingesting expired baking soda in their fridge and coming up with fake trades that could land the team a marquee quarterback. None of those guys are coming through that door. Sorry. It’s a bummer but that’s what happens when the Rams give Goff $33 million a year. It’s assumed that they could just trade Goff and a package of picks but it’s pretty hard to imagine Goff having that kind of trade value.
Stay The Course
At this risk of sounding unpopular, this might be the most logical option. Look, it’s not fun to imagine another season where everyone hopes Goff becomes the guy he was in 2018 and builds on what he was in the playoffs. He’s going to have games like the Dolphins, Jets, and Niners game. He’s also not going to huck the ball deep a whole lot. He is who he is.
There’s a chance that with a whole camp where he has the Wolf breathing down his neck, or someone else, he might play with the kind of fire he displayed in the playoffs. That said, once he is the starter, it’s unclear if he can keep that fire burning and we could be having this same conversation again after watching Tom Brady win back-to-back titles in Tampa before evaporating into a cloud of sparkling TB 12 powder.
The Rams can’t cut him because the cap hit would be too great and there isn’t a real scenario where he can be traded. It sucks but that’s on the front office for extending him prematurely. None of the options represent a clear upgrade over what they have now, there are ways to at least allow for an offense that has the ability to move quickly downfield.
The Rams always look to make some sort of splash but quarterback isn’t likely to be where that happens. For at least the next two years, it’s Goff for better and for worse.