When the Los Angeles Rams traded former No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff to the Detroit Lions for the former No. 1 overall pick, quarterback Matthew Stafford the sports world collectively spun its head. However, while all the NFL talking heads scrambled to break down the trade piece by piece, bookmakers in Nevada and New Jersey went right to work adjusting NFL futures odds.
NFL trades are not official until March 17, but when the trade was announced in January, the Los Angeles Rams odds to win the 2022 Super Bowl rocketed from +2000 to +1500 on the money line. Those odds have since dropped to +1200 as bookmakers adjusted even more against incoming betting action.
Meanwhile, Lion’s odds remained static. Detroit was a +10000 longshot along with the New York Jets and Houston Texans both before and after the trade.
The deal represents the first-ever exchange of former No. 1 overall pick in the Super Bowl era and includes both the Ram’s 2022 and 2023 first-round picks and a third-round pick in this year’s NFL draft. An incredible haul for Detroit for what many believe is just a modest improvement at the position for the Rams. Stafford who turned 32 this month was drafted in 2009 out of Georgia and has played his entire 12-year career for Detroit. He is 74-90-1 all-time as a starting quarterback.
Stafford, who said he “never thought I would ever finish my career anywhere else” has done everything that the Lions have asked of him. However, the Texas native could never carry the Lions over the playoff hump, going 0-3 in playoff appearances in his career.
Goff will turn 27 this year and has played 5-seasons in the NFL, all for Los Angeles. He is 42-27 as a starter and signed a contract extension in 2019 worth $134 million and that includes an NFL-record of $110 million of guaranteed money. The California native who played his college ball at Berkeley is scheduled to earn $27.8 million this season, and $76 million over the three years. Goff is said to be happy about the change in scenery and “excited to be on a team that wants and appreciates” him.
With Stafford is only signed through the 2022 season leading many to believe that from Los Angeles’ perspective, this deal is more about getting out from under the weight of Goff’s contract extension than to immediately improve the team. The Rams not only gave up significant assets to get out from under this deal, but they will also carry a dead-money charge of $22.2 million against their 2021 salary cap. It remains to be seen how competitive they will be in 2021, but that financial pressure will be off the books in 2022.