Although quarterback Matthew Stafford ostensibly would have accepted a trade to any team but the Patriots, Stafford wanted to play for Sean McVay and the Rams. In the end, Stafford got what he wanted.
Chris Simms explained on Monday’s PFT Live that Stafford shied away from other potential trade destinations, like for example Carolina, as he tried to nudge the process toward McVay and Southern California.
Per a league source, Stafford and McVay spent time together last week in Cabo. (Albert Breer of SI.com writes that the two met for dinner in Mexico after the deal was done; our information suggests that the conversations and meetings didn’t begin then.)
As the source explains it, McVay became “fixated” on Stafford and pushed the Rams to get him. McVay, as the thinking in some circles goes, believes that Stafford will help McVay preserve his “boy genius” status, a label that has begun to weather and fray over the past two years. McVay blames the regression on Goff, taking a page from the playbook of his mentor, Jon Gruden.
Whether Stafford can change the perception of the McVay offensive system remains to be seen. As Simms put it, McVay will behave like a kid with a new toy, drawing up plays suited to Stafford’s strengths. It will invigorate McVay and expand the offense — at least in the short term.
But the Rams will still need to put a team around Stafford. With $22.2 million carried on the salary cap for Goff’s traded contract and with Stafford receiving $20 million in compensation for 2021, the Rams will have to put a team around Stafford with $42.2 million devoted to the quarterback position and (if the cap shrinks to $180 million) less than $140 million to fill out the rest of the roster.