Jared Goff is the current starting quarterback for the Detroit Lions, but he’s not considered their long-term franchise QB. He’ll likely be replaced in the next two years or at least be asked to hold the fort for a rookie to take his job eventually.
That rookie QB could enter the picture as early as next week when the NFL holds its annual draft.
Goff said Thursday he’d have “no concern” if the Lions decided to draft a quarterback.
“I trust those guys,” Goff said of the Lions’ front office. “They’ve expressed a lot of confidence in me and feel good about where I’m at and where I’m at with them and where we’re headed. I’m excited about it. But if anything were to happen there (with drafting a QB), no, no concern.”
Goff is under contract through the 2024 season. With $30 million in dead money, there was no thought of the Lions moving on from him in 2022. Next season is more viable for Detroit to release or trade the veteran, as doing so would save $20 million on the salary cap with $10 million in dead money.
With questions about the viability of the incoming rookie class of QBs, the Lions, in the nascent stages of a rebuild, could put off adding a quarterback until next offseason, favoring filling the other holes on the roster particularly on defense.
The Lions could also decide they like a signal-caller enough to use one of their two first-round picks (Nos. 2 and 32) this year and have him sit behind Goff for a season.
The 27-year-old was asked if he’d enjoy a mentor role.
“I don’t know. I think yeah, maybe,” he said. “I’ve always like helping younger guys. I don’t know. I have no idea. I’ve never been in that position. I don’t know. I’m sure I would be the same guy I am. Be helpful if I felt like it.”
Since getting drafted by the Los Angeles Rams with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Goff hasn’t been in a position to be the mentor. He’s either been the young guy or the unquestioned starter.
Eventually, Goff could become an ideal bridge quarterback not only in Detroit but ultimately in his next stop and the next one. He’s a QB lacking an uber-high ceiling and likely won’t be viewed as a franchise-altering option at this stage. But he’s not a low-end disaster either. Thus far, Goff has shown no signs of rocking the boat to put off coaches and GMs. And, perhaps most important for rebuilding teams, he’s functional enough to run an offense and help evaluate the rest of the roster. If Goff adds “good mentor” to his resume in Detroit, he could get contracts as a veteran stand-in for years.
Maybe he could be a less dynamic Alex Smith or the next Josh McCown.
Goff won’t know how he’ll take to mentoring until it happens. And it won’t happen until the Lions pull the trigger on an early-round quarterback.
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