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The Sports Report: Breaking down the Jared Goff-Matthew Stafford trade

Quarterbacks Jared Goff, left, and Matthew Stafford.
(Associated Press)

Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

Sam Farmer on the Rams trade: Gambling is against NFL rules, but the Rams rolled the dice Saturday night in betting their immediate future on quarterback Matthew Stafford, who has never won a playoff game.

Then again, risk is in their DNA.

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They were the club who took the decisive step toward Los Angeles. They spent a record sum on their $5-billion stadium. They traded up from No. 15 to No. 1 to take Jared Goff in 2016 — the quarterback they’re now discarding — and haven’t had a first-round pick since. They hired a 30-year-old head coach.

So of course they made a splash move to get Stafford.

Now, it’s up to them to prove it was a smart one.

Houston’s Deshaun Watson was out of their price range. They considered making a hard run at Aaron Rodgers, but Green Bay was adamant it wasn’t trading him.

Stafford was within reach, and Sean McVay was increasingly convinced this was the player who could lift his team to the next level — even though Stafford never actually experienced that level with the Lions.

So that’s the question, and one we’ll figure out in short order: Was the problem Stafford, or the team around him?

Stafford has two years left on his contract, and the Rams weren’t able to extend him beyond that. If he has a great 2021 season, that’s a double-edged sword, because the Rams will have to break the bank to extend him, and they’re making it clear with this move that he’s their future.

That was the case with cornerback Jalen Ramsey. The Rams didn’t get an extension on him when they made a trade with Jacksonville and subsequently signed him to a record-breaking deal.

Regardless, the news of the moment is the Rams were able to wriggle out of the handcuffs of Goff’s contract and acquire a highly respectable quarterback looking to make the most of that talent in his second act. Is Stafford worth two first-round picks and a third? That will be hotly debated, especially if he doesn’t make an immediate and dramatic impact. But the Rams had to sweeten the deal enough that the Lions would take Goff’s massive contract off their books.

The Rams upgraded at quarterback, and they didn’t have to go to lengths they would deeply regret to get one. They didn’t have to, say, trade Aaron Donald.

Giving up two first-round picks is steep. But if you figure a Hall of Fame general manager hits on about 50% of selections in the opening round — if he gets two good starters out of four first-rounders that’s a respectable rate — then a pair of first-rounders isn’t too much ... as long as the team is getting a franchise quarterback.

————

Dylan Hernández: The pressure is on Rams’ Sean McVay after Goff-Stafford trade

Rams’ offense needs more than Matthew Stafford to win a Super Bowl

Dan Orlovsky and Drew Stanton say Rams got a gem in Matthew Stafford

Rams trade Jared Goff to Lions for Matthew Stafford in swap of quarterbacks

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CLIPPERS

Emmanuel Morgan on the Clippers: Clippers coach Tyronn Lue remembers the early mornings of walking into the Boston Celtics’ facility a decade ago and seeing Tom Thibodeau already inside.

Lue and Thibodeau, both former Celtics assistant coaches, worked closely together studying tape, and Lue saw Thibodeau’s renowned defensive mindset on a personal level. Lue thanked him for his mentorship during his first opportunity in the NBA’s coaching ranks.

But on Sunday, Thibodeau’s Knicks, who boast the NBA’s third-best defensive rating, failed to contain one of the top-scoring teams, losing to the Clippers 129 -115 at Madison Square Garden. The Clippers (16-5) improved to 3-1 on their six-game trip, which continues Tuesday in Brooklyn.

Asked how the Clippers were able to score so easily against a stingy opponent, Paul George offered a simple answer.

“We’re just a pretty good offensive team,” he said on a videoconference.

BASEBALL

Bill Shaikin on baseball: Major League Baseball has proposed delaying the season by about a month and playing the World Series in November, said people familiar with the matter but not authorized to speak publicly Sunday.

The schedule would be shortened to 154 games, but players still would receive the required 162 games of pay. The owners also asked the players’ union to approve a designated hitter and 14-team expanded playoffs this season, a proposal the union previously has declined.

The proposal was sent to the union Friday, with a request for a response by Monday. Players and union leaders are discussing the proposal this weekend, deciding whether to reject it outright or offer a counterproposal.

The league previously floated the concept of starting the season a month late but declined to extend the season into November or pay players for games lost to a shortened season.

The league said then that its television partners preferred that the postseason conclude in October, but Fox is amenable to a postseason that lasts one week into November. This proposal does not include a neutral-site postseason — either in warm-weather climates or in a dome — which would make scheduling easier for the television networks.

SOCCER

Jesus Ferreira scored his first two international goals and had three assists, and Paul Arriola and Jonathan Lewis scored twice each to power the U.S. over a rusty Trinidad and Tobago 7-0 in an exhibition on Sunday night.

Lewis scored his first international goal, as did Miles Robinson.

Coming off a 6-2 win over Panama in November with top American players and a 6-0 rout of El Salvador last month with a group mostly from Major League Soccer, the U.S. outshot the Soca Warriors 19-2 and scored five goals in three straight games for the first time. Three Americans had not scored two goals each since an 8-1 rout of the Cayman Islands in a 1993 friendly led by Joe-Max Moore, Dominic Kinnear and Mark Chung.

Ferreira, a 20-year-old Dallas midfielder, gained U.S. citizenship in December 2019, made his U.S. debut last February and is a son of former Colombia midfielder David Ferreira. He had a goal and three firsts in the first half alone.

Arriola, who last month made his first start since tearing his right ACL last Feb. 15, scored twice as the U.S. took a 4-0 halftime lead to give him three goals in his last two international matches.

DUCKS

Brayden Schenn scored twice, Ville Husso got his first win as an NHL goaltender and the St. Louis Blues defeated the Ducks 4-1 on Sunday night.

Schenn is one of the NHL’s hottest players with six goals in his last seven games. He also has four assists during that span, which is tied with Montreal’s Nick Suzuki and Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau for the longest points streak this season.

Schenn tied it midway through the second period with a highlight-reel goal. The center was in the slot and redirected Justin Faulk’s pass while diving. Schenn extended the Blues’ lead to 3-1 on a power-play goal 67 seconds into the third.

Jakob Silfverberg scored for Anaheim, which has lost three in a row, and John Gibson made 19 saves.

THIS DATE IN SPORTS

1913 — Jim Thorpe, star of the 1912 Olympics, signs to play baseball with the New York Giants.

1914 — The Chicago White Sox and New York Giants play an exhibition game to promote baseball in Egypt. The game ends in a 3-3 tie.

1956 — Hayes Alan Jenkins leads the United States in a sweep of Olympic men’s figure skating in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy. The silver goes to Ronald Robertson, and Jenkins’ younger brother, David, wins the bronze.

1964 — Bobby Rousseau of the Montreal Canadiens scores five goals in a 9-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings.

1984 — New York’s Bernard King scores 50 points for the Knicks at Dallas, equaling the 50 he scored the night before in San Antonio. He’s the first player to score 50 points on consecutive nights since Wilt Chamberlain did it 20 years earlier.

1995 — Utah guard John Stockton becomes the NBA’s career assist leader, setting up Karl Malone with 6:30 left in the first half of the Jazz’s 129-88 victory over Denver. Stockton’s 9,922nd assist moves him ahead of Magic Johnson.

2003 — Regina Jacobs becomes the first woman to break four minutes in the indoor 1,500 meters at the Boston Indoor Games. Jacobs finishes in 3:59.98 to break the world record of 4:00.27 set by Romanian Doina Melinte in 1990.

2004 — The New England Patriots win their second Super Bowl in three seasons after Adam Vinatieri kicks a field goal with 4 seconds left to lift his team to a 32-29 victory over the Carolina Panthers.

2006 — New York’s Epiphanny Prince scores 113 points for Murry Bergtraum High School in a 137-32 win over Brandeis High School, breaking a girls’ national prep record previously held by Hall of Famer Cheryl Miller.

2008 — Jockey Russell Baze is the first to win 10,000th races in North America when he leads Two Step Cat to victory in the third race at Golden Gate Fields.

2009 — Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh offense end a Super Bowl of incredible swings with a final-minute touchdown for a historic victory, 27-23 over the Arizona Cardinals. Santonio Holmes makes a brilliant 6-yard catch deep in the right corner of the end zone with 35 seconds remaining, lifting the Steelers to a record-setting sixth Super Bowl win.

2010 — UConn is No. 1 in The Associated Press women’s basketball poll for a record 37th straight week, surpassing Louisiana Tech (1980-82) for the longest run atop the Top 25.

2014 — Ray Guy becomes the first punter elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

2014 — Oregon Institute of Technology men’s basketball coach Danny Miles becomes the second men’s coach at a four-year program to reach 1,000 career wins with a 71-51 victory over Corban. The 68-year old Miles has spent his entire career at Oregon Tech, where he has won three NAIA Division II national championships (2004, 2008 and 2012) and recorded 10 seasons with 30 wins or more.

2015 — Tom Brady throws for four touchdowns and Malcolm Butler intercepts Russell Wilson’s pass in the end zone with 20 seconds left, helping New England hold on to beat Seattle 28-24 for their fourth Super Bowl title.

2016 — For the first time in more than eight years, Duke is not in The Associated Press men’s basketball Top 25. The Blue Devils (15-6) had lost four of five, including two home games. They had been in every men’s poll since the preseason rankings of 2007-08.

And finally

New England defeats Seattle in the 2015 Super Bowl. Watch it here.

Until next time...

That concludes today’s newsletter. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, email me at houston.mitchell@latimes.com, and follow me on Twitter at @latimeshouston. To get this newsletter in your inbox, click here.


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