Allen Park – Jared Goff would rather talk about an upcoming game, seeing how the next game could have been (and should have been, in his opinion) the Super Bowl.
Instead, he answered questions about his future and, most notably, his contract.
Goff’s contract expires after the 2024 season, and this offseason appears to be the time when the Lions will make a decision if he is the right guy and for how much.
Spoiler alert: it is, and very much so.
Next year will be the final year of a four-year, $134 million contract he signed with the Los Angeles Rams, worth an average annual value of $33.5 million per year.
Conservative estimates would put his next deal at $40 million a year, or more, given the market and his performance, especially over the past two years.
“If it happens, it happens,” Goff said Monday, after returning to town following the Lions’ 34-31 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game. “If it’s not like that, it’s not like that. I’ve loved every second of my time here.
“It would be great,” Goff said of a possible extension, “but it’s not up to me.”
Well, it doesn’t depend solely on him. It’s obviously up to the Lions, and most expect them to eagerly pursue a new deal with Goff, who threw for 5,412 yards this season, including three postseason games, the most in the league. His 4,575 yards in the regular season were surpassed by Miami’s Tua Tagovailoa.
Goff, who arrived three years ago in the trade that sent Lions veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams, has guided Detroit to a top-five offense the past two years.
He also led the Lions to their first NFC Championship appearance since 1992, and nearly their first Super Bowl.
Along the way, especially at the end, and particularly when he beat Stafford and the Rams in the first round of the playoffs, he became a cult hero in Detroit, who “JAR-ED GOFF!” Chanting broke out at Red Wings and Pistons games at Little Caesars Arena, but also in recent days at other stadiums across the country, even though those stadiums had no ties to Detroit, when the Lions became the America’s favorites.
“It’s hard to say even if we didn’t reach our goal, but to accomplish what we were able to accomplish, to make some history for this city and for this team, was really special,” Goff said. “That said, there were two games left.”
He said his team feels like it should be in the Super Bowl next month in Las Vegas, and “it’s a good thing” to think that.
“It’s been a fun year,” Goff said. “It’s really special to be a part of this.”
Goff, 29, was the first overall pick out of Cal in 2016 and led the Rams to Super Bowl LIII, losing to the New England Patriots. Two years later, he was gone, and his relationship with Rams head coach Sean McVay was frayed beyond repair.
In Detroit, Stafford, the No. 1 overall pick out of Georgia in 2009, wanted out, and the new regime of general manager Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell agreed.
It led to one of the most win-win trades in recent sports history, with the Rams winning the Super Bowl in Stafford’s first year, and the Lions, who also gained significant draft capital in the Stafford-Goff deal, were NFC North champions inside. three years: going from 3-13-1 to 9-8 and 12-5 this season.
The deal came full circle in Round 1 of the playoffs, when the Lions and Goff beat the Rams and Stafford, 24-23, at Ford Field, where Stafford was booed and Goff cheered. Strongly.
“I’m very proud of the people around me, the people in this building, and also of myself,” Goff said. “But most of all, I’m proud to be a part of this.”
He called it “three years of hell” and noted that the future is bright, even if the present is painful.
“We have a lot of good players and a lot of good young players,” said Goff, who threw for 34 touchdowns and just 12 interceptions this season, including the playoffs, in which he threw no interceptions. “The plan would be to be set up for success… for quite some time.”
Now the question, as uncomfortable as it may be for Goff, is how much time he has left in Detroit.
The Lions have significant cap space available this offseason, but also significant needs, and several key players are set to hit free agency now. The only other quarterback remaining on the roster is Hendon Hooker, a third-round pick out of Tennessee in 2023. Veteran Teddy Bridgewater retired after Sunday night’s NFC Championship Game.