Marshall Faulk, Isaac Bruce share their thoughts on Rams’ blockbuster trade for Matt Stafford

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Cameron DaSilva
·4 min read
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All eyes are on the Chiefs and Buccaneers this weekend as they square off in Super Bowl LV, but the Los Angeles Rams stole headlines for the last week when they agreed to a blockbuster trade with the Detroit Lions. The Rams are sending Jared Goff and three draft picks to the Lions for Matthew Stafford, officially making a change at quarterback for next season.

It was a shocking move by Les Snead and the Rams, who are swinging for the fences in an attempt to win a Super Bowl in the next two seasons. Rams legends Marshall Faulk and Isaac Bruce discussed the trade recently on the Bleav in Rams podcast, and neither Hall of Famer is sold on the deal for Los Angeles.

Here’s what Faulk thinks of the trade, saying Stafford will now learn if it was him who couldn’t win big games or if the Lions were the ones holding him back.

“I’m indifferent, and I’m going to tell you why I’m indifferent,” Faulk said. “They know what’s in the DNA of this young kid. That’s why they had to let Goff get up out of there. It started with the Super Bowl, he took a crap there, and then all the way since in some big games, he wasn’t showing up. And here’s the thing: They unloaded a lot of salary and the thing that’s making me indifferent is … Matthew Stafford’s been there, what, 11-12 years? He hasn’t won the NFC North yet. I’m just saying. Arm talent? I see it. But the ability to lead men? I mean, you’ve gotta think of some of the quarterbacks that were in Chicago that won the NFC North. So it brings to me, like, man, I don’t know.

“But I remember when I walked into the Rams locker room, there’s something about when you go to a new team regardless of what you’ve done, you have to reestablish yourself and let people know who you are. And the attention to detail is now on you because the change of scenery is there. And here’s what Matthew Stafford is about to find out. He’s about to find out if it was Detroit or if it was him because the Rams have the components, they have what’s necessary to get it done.”

Bruce seems to like the trade more than Faulk does, but he also has his reservations because of the cost the Rams gave up to land Jared Goff in 2016, and then the amount they gave up to get rid of him this offseason.

In addition to trading two first-round picks and a third-rounder along with Goff, the Rams also take on $22.2 million in dead money for trading him.

“I truly believe it’s an upgrade, man, from any stretch of the imagination,” Bruce said. “Because when you’re playing that position, No. 1, it’s a leadership position. You expect your quarterback to be the first guy off the charter, leading the crew, leading the guys. Leadership is important. But when you see a guy who’s lost confidence within himself, you’re reading his body language, you don’t want to follow that guy. I’m sitting home and I’m watching the games and I get more frustrated than some of the receivers that are playing right now because of Jared Goff. The way he was playing, the way he was acting like he didn’t want to be there. I’m excited about the move. I feel like it was an upgrade to the position, no doubt. I think Stafford, he brings in a stronger arm. I’ve heard stories about how he plays through injury, he’s tough enough to be there for the guys.

“But I’m kind of indifferent, as well. You just look at the executive leadership we have right now because you gave up a lot to get Jared Goff, and you gave up a lot to get rid of him before the guy’s 26 years old. So I’m thinking, how are we seeing this upstairs or what’s happening right now? Because we gave up a lot of first-round picks.”

Goff is a talented player, but he seemed to lose his confidence in Los Angeles and fell out of favor with the coaching staff, namely Sean McVay. Stafford has never lacked confidence or toughness and brings a more aggressive approach to the quarterback position moving forward.