With Rams coach Sean McVay and general manager Les Snead giving quarterback Jared Goff no vote of confidence, the team that selected Goff with the first pick in the 2016 NFL draft appears poised to move on.
Cutting Goff would trigger a prohibitive $65.2-million dead cap hit, so a trade or free-agent signing is the most probable way to replace him.
A look at potential targets if the Rams move on from Goff:
NFL experience: 3 seasons
Career stats: 14,539 yards passing, 104 TDs, 36 INTs
Salary cap number: 2021-$15.9 million, 2022-$40.4 million, 2023-$42.4 million, 2024-$34.7 million, 2025-$32 million
The Houston Texans are hiring a new coach, Dave Culley, but Watson reportedly has made a request to be traded. The three-time Pro Bowl selection is regarded as one of the best young players in the NFL. Watson is represented by agent David Mulugheta, who negotiated cornerback Jalen Ramsey’s record-breaking extension with the Rams.
NFL experience: 16 seasons
Career stats: 51,245 yards passing, 412 TDs, 89 INTs
Salary cap number: 2021-$37.2 million, 2022-$39.9 million, 2023-$28.4 million
The probable 2020 NFL MVP played like it during the Green Bay Packers’ NFC divisional-round victory over the Rams. But in the days leading up to last Sunday’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC championship game, Rodgers hinted he might be ready to move on. Rodgers described his future as “a beautiful mystery,” a phrase Snead quoted four times this week when discussing Goff and the Rams.
NFL experience: 12 seasons
Career stats: 45,109 passing yards, 282 TDs, 144 INTs
Salary cap number: 2021-$33 million, 2022-$26 million, 2023-$3 million
The No. 1 pick in the 2009 draft is winless in three playoff games — the last in 2016 — and has been voted to the Pro Bowl only once. But, receiver Calvin Johnson notwithstanding, Stafford has not exactly been surrounded with outstanding talent on offense. Stafford and the Lions reportedly agreed that he should move on, and the team is seeking trade offers.
NFL experience: 3 seasons
Career stats: 8,097 passing yards, 45 TDs, 39 INTs
Salary cap number: 2021: $9.8 million
The former USC star, the third pick in the 2018 draft, has been plagued by illness and injuries, and the Jets — who have the second pick in the draft — have yet to show outward enthusiasm for exercising their fifth-year option. Darnold is mobile and capable of making plays as he demonstrated in the then-winless Jets’ victory over the Rams at SoFi Stadium this season.
NFL experience: 5 seasons
Career stats: 17,634 passing yards, 106 TDs, 40 INTs
Salary cap number: TBD
Prescott earned $31.4 million playing under the franchise tag this season, and the Cowboys are probably apt to tag him again if they cannot get a long-term deal done. But there also is a possibility the Cowboys could tag and trade a quarterback who burst onto the NFL scene in the 2016 preseason opener when he completed 10 of 12 passes, two for touchdowns, against the Rams at the Coliseum.
NFL experience: 13 seasons
Career stats: 55,767 yards passing, 347 TDs, 158 INTs
Salary cap number: 2021-$40.9 million, 2022-$41.7 million, 2023-$36.6 million
The Falcons finished 4-12 and have the fourth pick in the draft. If new coach Arthur Smith uses that to select a quarterback, the Falcons could move on from Ryan. The 2016 NFL MVP led his team to Super Bowl LI, only to watch as Tom Brady and the New England Patriots overcame a 25-point, third-quarter deficit to win their fifth championship.
NFL experience: 1 season
Career stats: 231 yards passing, 0 TDs, 1 INT
Salary cap number: 2021-$855,000
After Wolford spent the 2019 season on the Rams practice squad, McVay elevated him to back-up status this season. With Goff recovering from right thumb surgery, Wolford started the season finale against the Arizona Cardinals, showing mobility Goff lacks. McVay started Wolford in the wild-card playoff game against the Seahawks only to see him suffer a neck injury.
Salary cap numbers via overthecap.com