The Lions committed to rebuilding under head coach Dan Campbell and General Manager Brad Holmes when they traded quarterback Matthew Stafford to the Rams in 2021 for quarterback Jared Goff and a pair of first-round picks that they hope will be the foundation of a winning team in the future.
One of those picks was used to trade up for wide receiver Jameson Williams earlier this year and the fact that he’s coming off of a torn ACL shows that the team continues to use the long view for the timeline for that rebuild. That makes it very much an open question as to whether Goff will be the quarterback in Detroit when the Lions are thinking about contending for playoff spots and more.
Goff can be cut loose after the 2022 season without major damage to the salary cap, so he’s going to have to prove his worth this season in order to stick around for a third year with the team. In an interview with Peter King for Football Morning in America, Lions head coach Dan Campbell said that he thinks the Lions have provided Goff with a supporting cast that will allow him to do exactly that.
“I think Goff’s in a real good place,” Campbell said. “Finished strong last year. I like the fact that we’ve got pieces around him that I think are going to help pull the most out of him. We’ve got some pieces here that complement each other that really will help him be the best that he can be. Listen, he’s an accurate quarterback. That’s what he does well. He can throw the football and he can put it right on the money.”
Williams joins free agent acquisition DJ Chark and second-year wideout Amon-Ra St. Brown in a remade receiving corps that will complement tight end T.J. Hockenson in what the Lions hope is a more productive offense. If that hope is realized, Goff may be back for a third year in Detroit. If he can’t live up to expectations, however, the team has two first-round picks next year that will almost certainly be put toward acquiring a quarterback who can.