If you went to bed early last night, you may have missed the first NFL blockbuster of the 2021 offseason. The Detroit Lions are shipping veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams and, in return, are receiving quarterback Jared Goff, a 2021 3rd-round selection and 1st-round selections in 2022 and 2023.
This is a monster of a trade. Detroit’s move here is quite savvy, as they’re taking on the hefty contact of quarterback Jared Goff and as a result are seeing their return for Stafford swell immensely. But regardless of whether Stafford commanded two 1st-round picks on merit of because of a salary dump, the rest of the league is watching. And this domino in the quarterback market is certainly one that will sweep across the league.
It will certainly impact the Miami Dolphins as well. Not directly. But was the Dolphins pour over their options for how to attack the 2021 NFL Draft, the team’s trade back options are significantly leaner in the top-10 of this year’s draft than they were yesterday. With such a bad roster, the swap for Jared Goff and so much future capital, it is probably safe to say that Detroit is not going to be in the trade-up market for the No. 3 overall pick. That removes an attractive trade back target for Miami and it also reduces the demand for the No. 3 overall selection — which may make finding an acceptable trade even more difficult to find.
Miami’s No. 3 overall pick holds plenty of value for quarterback hungry teams. Either Justin Fields of Ohio State or Zach Wilson is guaranteed to be on the board; and we may see them both depending on what the Jets choose to do with the No. 2 overall selection. Detroit was the first best trade back target — but Miami should consider them at this point in time off the board.
That makes Carolina, at No. 8, the new first best trade back target. And that is a team that is expected to be in the running for QB Deshaun Watson, who seems intent on pushing his way out of Houston. From there? San Francisco at 12? Denver at 9? It’s hard to say. But at that point you’re beginning to reach the fringes of where you’d feel confident that a top wide receiver will still be in play.
Perhaps this is all for not and the Dolphins stay put at 3. But regardless, we wake up this morning with the options sheet lighter than it was yesterday.