Jared Goff Says He's Been 'Empowered' by Lions Coaches: 'It's Been Really Cool'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJune 8, 2021

ALLEN PARK, MICHIGAN - MAY 27: Jared Goff #16 of the Detroit Lions works through the afternoon practice session on May 27, 2021 in Allen Park, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images

Detroit Lions star Jared Goff feels "empowered" as he approaches his first season with his new team.

"I think that's been a healthy relationship and something that's been fun for me to experience and be a part of guys that are really wanting to hear from me and wanting to hear what I like," Goff told reporters Tuesday.

The 26-year-old added that while there were moments when he felt that way with the Los Angeles Rams there were also times where it wasn't like that: "It's a little bit of both."

"It's been really cool and I've had a lot of fun having that ownership and being able to really use my strengths and use my knowledge and use what I know and at the same time continue to learn from these guys," he said of his new team.

Goff alluded to his frustration in Los Angeles in February after the Rams agreed to trade him to Detroit. He told the Los Angeles Times' Sam Farmer he came to feel unwanted by the Rams, which led to him feel equally ambivalent toward the team.

ESPN's Lindsey Thiry detailed how the relationship between Rams head coach Sean McVay and Goff started to show cracks as Goff struggled in 2019 and steadily became more strained in 2020.

"Ultimately, the merger between the Type A, football-hyper personality of McVay and the laid-back Goff didn't work," Thiry wrote.

Naturally it makes sense for Goff to feel better on a new team. The question is how long the honeymoon period will last.

The Lions didn't draft a quarterback-in-waiting, so the two-time Pro Bowler is clearly the No. 1 guy.

But the Lions also didn't do a whole lot to improve their passing game. They signed Breshad Perriman and Tyrell Williams and selected USC wideout Amon-Ra St. Brown in the fourth round.

Goff threw for 3,952 yards, 20 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 2020, and improving upon those numbers might be difficult with the weapons at his disposal right now.

While he's signed through 2024, the 2016 No. 1 overall pick might effectively be looking at a two-year window in which to prove himself in Detroit.

Come 2023, the Lions would absorb $10 million in dead money but save nearly $20.7 million by cutting Goff, per Spotrac. That $10 million dead cap hit could be spread equally across 2023 and 2024 if he were a post-June 1 cut.

Ryan Tannehill is the obvious model for Goff. Tannehill's value during the 2019 offseason was so low the Miami Dolphins paid a portion of his outstanding compensation to facilitate his trade to the Tennessee Titans. The 32-year-old has since enjoyed a renaissance.

Should Goff fail to improve in Detroit, though, the Lions might reach the same conclusion about his long-term outlook that the Rams did.