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Jared Goff doesn’t want to relive Rams trade but adds ‘the sourness is there still’

Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff welcomes teammates onto the field before a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff welcomes teammates onto the field before a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.
(Paul Sancya / Associated Press)
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It appears Jared Goff is willing to forgive, if not forget.

The former Rams quarterback, who returns to SoFi Stadium with the Detroit Lions on Sunday, said Wednesday he appreciated Rams coach Sean McVay saying he could have better handled the lead-up to the trade that sent Goff to the Lions for quarterback Matthew Stafford.

McVay said this week there could have been better communication and he did not manage it as well as he could have.

“It takes a man to say something like that, so yeah, I appreciate it,” Goff told Detroit reporters. “It still happened the way it did, but I do appreciate him saying that and got all the respect in the world for them over there.”

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But throughout his weekly news conference, Goff dropped several not-so-subtle hints that the sting of trade, and the way McVay and the Rams handled it, lingers. He said his emotions about returning to Los Angeles and playing against his former team are “really out the window by now.”

But they clearly seem to be occupying space in his psyche.

Rams coach Sean McVay acknowledges he could have handled the communication better when Jared Goff was traded to Detroit for Matthew Stafford.

Goff, the No. 1 pick in the 2016 draft, helped lead the Rams to two NFC West titles and a Super Bowl appearance before his performance dropped off in 2019 and 2020. He said he felt as though his relationship with McVay had not eroded near the end of the 2020 season, which is why he was confused about the unexpected and impersonal ending.

McVay has said he felt good about dialogue he eventually had with Goff after the trade. On Wednesday, Goff said, “reliving all of that is, to me, irrelevant.”

Goff emphasized he had great memories, friendships and lifelong bonds from his time with the Rams. For that and no doubt other aspects of his time in Los Angeles — the Rams gave him an extension that included $110 million in guarantees — he is appreciative.

But “the sourness is there still,” from how his time with the Rams ended, he said.

“There was some disrespect felt towards the end,” Goff said. “You still have that chip on your shoulder.”

McVay, apprised of Goff’s comments, did not want to revisit the situation.

Lions quarterback Jared Goff stands on the sidelines during a loss to the Bengals on Sunday.
(Psaul Sancya / Associated Press)

“He’s a quality, class act — he’s always going to be honest,” McVay said Wednesday before practice, adding that Goff was a “great kid, he’s a great guy.

“I really enjoyed the time with him. I think we’ve kind of talked about that so nothing really to add to that.”

The Rams’ early-season success with Stafford, and the Lions’ struggles, will make it tough for Goff to lift his burden.

The Rams are 5-1 and on track for a possible Super Bowl run. The Lions are 0-6.

Stafford, 33, has passed for 1,838 yards and 16 touchdowns, with four interceptions for a team that has lost only to the unbeaten Arizona Cardinals. The Rams are coming off a 38-11 victory over the New York Giants.

Goff, 27, has passed for 1,505 yards and seven touchdowns, with four interceptions, for a team that lost two games on last-minute field goals. The Lions are coming off a 34-11 defeat by the Cincinnati Bengals.

Goff “has a lot on his plate,” first-year Lions coach Dan Campbell said Wednesday.

NFL roundtable: How will Rams fans react when Jared Goff is introduced at SoFi Stadium as a member of the Detroit Lions?

“We’ve got a young squad, we’ve had some injuries — it’s no excuse but so with that we’re asking him to step up and be the best version of himself,” Campbell said during a conference call with Los Angeles reporters. “Because when you feel like you’re a little deficient or banged up in other areas, man, we got to have our other guys step up.”

Etc.

Running back Sony Michel (shoulder) did not practice. … With kick returner Jake Funk out for the season because of a hamstring injury, McVay said rookie Tutu Atwell was the leading candidate to replace him.


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