9 potential QB options for Rams if they move on from Jared Goff

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Cameron DaSilva
·7 min read
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It’s become very clear in the last two weeks that the Los Angeles Rams aren’t sold on Jared Goff as their starting quarterback. Neither Sean McVay nor Les Snead would commit to him even being on the roster in 2021, saying he’s the quarterback “right now” and “at this moment.”

So with uncertainty abound in Los Angeles, it’s a good time to look at some possible options for the Rams at quarterback moving forward. Not all of these nine players will be upgrades over Goff, and not all of them would be easy for the Rams to land.

But they are, nonetheless, possible targets. Here are nine quarterbacks the Rams could look at in the draft, free agency and on the trade market this offseason.

John Wolford

(AP Photo/Scott Eklund)

McVay clearly likes Wolford’s game, enough to start him over a less-than-100% Goff in the wild-card round of the playoffs. He showed flashes of being a capable starter in the NFL in the Rams’ win over the Cardinals in Week 17, so he could be an option next season. He’d also be one of the cheapest options. If the Rams are able to trade Goff and net a draft pick or two in return, Wolford’s salary of $780,000 would be a stark contrast from what Goff is set to cost them. Even Les Snead mentioned in his media session on Tuesday that Wolford has potential and said the Rams like his skill set as a quarterback. There’s much more uncertainty with Wolford than other veterans on this list, but he’d be the most affordable choice.

Matthew Stafford, Lions

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Stafford seems like the most logical and likely trade target for the Rams at quarterback. The Lions want to move on from him and given his age, he won’t command the draft haul that Deshaun Watson would and he fits the mold of an aggressive-type of quarterback that McVay would like under center. David Carr pitched the Rams as a potential landing spot for Stafford and it makes sense. With Brad Holmes now Detroit’s GM, he could have some interest in the Rams quarterback as the Lions try to rebuild. They can make the financial aspect work, too, with both quarterbacks having similar contracts.

Deshaun Watson, Texans

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Watson is an extreme long shot for the Rams. The primary reason is that the Rams don’t have the draft capital to make a deal work with the Texans. With no first-round pick in 2021, and Watson likely costing at least two or three first-round picks, Houston would be forced to wait a year to use one of the Rams’ first-rounders. That’s not something the Texans will want to do, especially with a new head coach coming in. Not to mention, Watson would cost the Texans $21.6 million if traded, compared to his cap hit of only $15.9 million in 2021. That’s a losing proposition for Houston. Nothing can be completely ruled out, but it’s hard to see the Texans liking the Rams as a trade partner without a first-round pick to offer.

Kellen Mond, Texas A&M

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Mond is someone the Rams could come to really like in the draft. He’s a mobile quarterback with a good arm and all the traits you want to see in a quarterback, but he needs to improve his decision-making and accuracy – which he began to do this past season. He could be a target in the second round of the draft if the Rams are insistent on moving on from Goff. Mond wouldn’t need to start right away and could possibly sit behind a veteran or Wolford for a year, but he should be on the Rams’ radar for 2021 and beyond. This season at Texas A&M, he threw 19 touchdown passes and only three interceptions, posting a career-best rating of 146.9. He also rushed for 1,609 yards and 22 touchdowns in his college career, showing the mobility that McVay seems to covet.

Jamie Newman, Wake Forest

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Newman transferred from Wake Forest to Georgia before the 2020 season but then wound up opting out, so he hasn’t played in over a year. The Senior Bowl will be important for Newman, especially without a traditional combine being held, but he showed potential in 2019 as Wake Forest’s starter. He threw for 2,868 yards and 26 touchdowns with 11 interceptions in 12 games, while also rushing for 574 yards and six touchdowns. As a true dual-threat quarterback with good enough size (6-foot-2, 235 pounds), he could catch the eye of McVay ahead of the draft and be an option in the middle rounds.

Kyle Trask, Florida

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Trask will probably be drafted sometime on Day 2, potentially finishing as one of the top quarterbacks outside the first round. He racked up 4,283 yards and threw 43 touchdown passes with only eight interceptions this season at Florida, finishing fourth in the Heisman voting. He’s not the runner that Mond and Newman are, but Trask is mobile enough to make plays outside the pocket. He may not reach the Rams at No. 57, and I’m not sure they should trade up to draft him, but Trask does have NFL size and potential, which makes him a possible target for the Rams in the draft.

Jameis Winston, free agency

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Winston took a one-year deal for very little guaranteed money with the Saints last year to spend a season learning from Sean Payton and Drew Brees. He only threw 11 passes with New Orleans and will now hit free agency again. Could McVay look to bring in the gunslinger? He has a big arm and isn’t afraid to throw downfield, but he’s also turnover-prone – more so than even Goff has been. Winston threw 30 interceptions in 2019 with the Buccaneers, which was 12 more than he had in any other season, but he also threw for a league-high 5,109 yards. He’s a boom-or-bust quarterback and although McVay wants a quarterback who takes better care of the football, Winston could be a cheap option in free agency if Los Angeles can’t afford to trade for someone like Stafford or Watson.

Sam Darnold, Jets

(AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Darnold has played on bad Jets teams for the last three years and while he shouldn’t be excused for poor play himself, he hasn’t gotten much help from the rest of the team. This season, he threw for just 2,208 yards, nine touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 12 games, which are unsightly numbers for a starting quarterback in the NFL. But he does still have potential and was the No. 3 pick in the draft three years ago for a reason. He struggles with accuracy and ball security, but he can make throws to all levels of the field and has made some highlight-reel plays in his career. Acquiring him would require a trade, and it would mostly be a lateral move for the Rams without upgrading much at the position, if at all, but he would be much cheaper than Goff and the Rams could have him on a reasonable contract for two more seasons.

Marcus Mariota, Raiders

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Mariota only appeared in one game for the Raiders this season, playing in relief of Derek Carr against the Chargers. He completed 17 of 28 passes for 226 yards with a touchdown and interception, adding 88 yards rushing and another score on the ground. He’s hit plenty of bumps in the road during his NFL career, but what he showed in that tiny sliver of action might just be enough to earn him another chance. He’s still under contract with the Raiders in 2021 with a cap hit of $10.7 million, but there’s no guaranteed money left. There’s no question about his mobility and he doesn’t throw interceptions at a high rate, so McVay and the Rams could give him a look as a possible trade target. They shouldn’t bank on him being a high-level starter, but in a competition scenario, they could do worse than the former No. 2 pick.

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