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Jared Goff 'Has Proven That He's the Best QB for Us,' Lions GM Brad Holmes Says

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJanuary 10, 2023

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 08: Jared Goff #16 of the Detroit Lions warms up prior to the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on January 08, 2023 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes appears committed to quarterback Jared Goff based on postseason comments to reporters Tuesday.

ESPN's Eric Woodyard relayed the remarks.

Eric Woodyard @E_Woodyard

<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Lions?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Lions</a> GM Brad Holmes says "It's a lot easier to get worse at QB than to get better at QB." Holmes says they'll never turn down a good football player in the draft but, "I do think that Jared has proven that he's the best quarterback for us," he said.

The Lions finished fifth in scoring this season thanks largely to Goff, who completed 65.1 percent of his passes for 29 touchdowns (seven interceptions) and 7.6 yards per pass attempt.

Per Pro Football Reference, Goff finished seventh in the league in quarterback rating and fifth in QBR. Mike Payton of Pride of Detroit provided more stats:

Mike Payton @POD_Payton

Jared Goff finished the season:<br>6th in passing yards<br>5th in passing TD's<br>21st in interceptions <br>7th in passer rating <br>6th in yards per attempt<br>5th in adjusted yards per passing attempt <br><br>The Lions have their guy.

Goff began his career with the Los Angeles Rams, who selected the former Cal star with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft. He spent the first five seasons of his career in L.A., leading the team to the 2018 NFC title and making two Pro Bowls along the way.

Goff signed a four-year, $134 million extension with the Rams before the 2019 season, keeping him under contract through 2024.

However, the Rams decided to go in a different direction after the 2020 season and traded him to the Lions for quarterback Matt Stafford.

Goff was the Lions' QB1 during the first year of a rebuild under Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell in 2021, and the team finished 3-13-1. This year's team dramatically improved, however, and went 9-8 thanks in part to a sensational offense.

That effort provides more credence to Goff being a long-term solution, but Holmes also made it clear that he never saw him as a "bridge" quarterback between eras in Detroit.

Nolan Bianchi @nolanbianchi

Lions GM Brad Holmes again throws his support behind QB Jared Goff.<br><br>"I never deemed him as a bridge. I think everybody else did, but I think it was a little bit of recency bias" because of Lions' failures as a team in 2021.

The Lions have some key decisions to make this offseason.

They hold the Nos. 6 and 18 overall selections in the 2023 NFL draft, with the former pick coming from L.A. thanks to the Stafford trade.

Detroit could shoot for one of the quarterbacks projected to go in the first round (e.g. Alabama's Bryce Young, Ohio State's C.J. Stroud, Kentucky's Will Levis, Florida's Anthony Richardson).

That would presumably mean releasing Goff, which would come with a $10 million dead cap charge in 2023 or a $5 million dead cap charge in 2024. The Lions would save $20,650,000 by releasing him in 2023 or $26,650,064 in 2024, per Over the Cap.

However, Goff is just 28 years old, and his excellent 2022 season provides hope that he can lead an explosive Lions offense for years to come. On the flip side, the Lions defense struggled for much of the year, to the point where Detroit allowed the fifth-most points.

The Lions have some exciting young talent, such as rookie defensive end Aidan Hutchinson and safety Kerby Joseph, but Detroit was gashed for the most yards per play and needs more reinforcements. Adding two defensive cornerstones with those picks could go a long way toward retooling that unit.

Ultimately, the Lions tripled their win total from last year and ended this season by winning eight of 10 games. That's in large part because of Goff, and he has a huge fan in Campbell too.

Detroit Lions @Lions

"He fits us."<a href="https://twitter.com/JaredGoff16?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JaredGoff16</a> <a href="https://t.co/s1NUay2wF1">pic.twitter.com/s1NUay2wF1</a>

Tim Twentyman @ttwentyman

Campbell said Jared Goff is one of big reasons why Lions finished 9-8. Says Goff is perfect fit for this team

Goff notably threw 15 touchdown passes with no interceptions in his last nine starts.