Report: Additional first-round pick pushed Rams above WFT for Matt Stafford

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Ryan Homler
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Report: Stafford deal's extra first gave Rams edge on Washington originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

It was well known that the Washington Football Team was involved in the Matt Stafford sweepstakes, a competition that the Los Angeles Rams ultimately won.

Not only was Washington among the teams vying for the veteran passer, but reports suggest that the organization's pursuit was serious. So much so that one league source stated that Washington's offer was actually "better" than what Los Angeles put out.

That point is up for debate, as others have noted that the Rams had the best return for the Lions. Why? Because while one first-round pick and a third-round pick was good, Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson reported that it was an additional first-round pick that set Los Angeles apart and left Washington on the outside looking in.

Washington could have potentially tried to match that type of draft capital from the Rams, but given that two first-round picks are a lot of the future to mortgage for a veteran quarterback the team may have been better suited sitting that one out.

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As Robinson goes on to explain, the Rams putting forth two first-round picks, when it was believed one first-rounder could be enough for Stafford, was due to Los Angeles wanting to dump quarterback Jared Goff in the deal as well.

The team did, and it will mean that Detroit must pay him $43 million in guaranteed money over the next two years. It's a deal that Robinson likens to what the NBA has been accustomed to over the years. The Rams were willing to give up a little bit more to offload something they really needed to get rid of.

If Los Angeles had the assets to do just that, good for them. It's important to note, however, that Washington and the Rams are not in the same situation. The NFC West contender has a lot more already in place to make a title run with the right man under quarterback. Washington would benefit from an upgrade, but there is more work to be done to get into that conversation.

In the end, it appears both teams really wanted Stafford and put up offers that caught Detroit's attention. Yet Los Angeles felt it needed Stafford a little more, to the point that another first-round pick was on the table. That earned it the first big domino of the NFL offseason, while Washington heads back to the drawing board.