In response to our item regarding the ability of the Rams or Lions to back away from a trade that won’t and can’t become official until March 17, a high-level executive with another team pointed out that there’s a much easier way for the Lions to get out of the deal, if they decide not to buy Jared Goff‘s contract. The Lions can simply fail Goff on his physical.
Goff suffered a dislocated thumb in Week 16, had surgery the next day, and missed the Week 17 game against the Cardinals. He came off the bench in the wild card round against the Seahawks, and he started in the divisional round because John Wolford had a neck injury.
The Rams obviously believe that Goff’s thumb has healed. The Lions will have an opportunity to take their own look at it. If the doctors have any misgivings — or if they get the impression that those who have hired them want them to have misgivings — it will be very easy to click F instead of P.
Jeff Darlington of ESPN.com reports that the physical is “coming soon.” It can happen before March 17 with the permission of the Rams. Obviously, the sooner it happens, the sooner the Rams can retreat to the drawing board, if Goff fails it.
There’s nothing the Rams could do about it if they disagree with the outcome of the physical, since the Lions have the absolute right to back away until March 17.
Indeed, having Goff fail the physical would be a far better outcome for the Rams than to have the Lions get to March 17 at 3:59 p.m. ET and say, “No thanks.”