Rams Rumors: Jared Goff, John Wolford Expected to Have QB Competition in Camp

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJanuary 27, 2021

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff passes the ball during the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, in Seattle. The Rams won 30-20. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)
Stephen Brashear/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Rams are reportedly planning an open quarterback competition between Jared Goff and John Wolford heading into next season.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported the Rams came away so impressed with Wolford's performance in place of Goff that he has a chance to wrestle away the starting job.

It is also possible the Rams trade Goff this offseason, as the 2016 No. 1 overall pick is clearly losing favor within the organization. General manager Les Snead refused to endorse Goff as the team's long-term starter Tuesday.

"Not going to get into specifics on those. That's the beautiful mystery of the future. ... Jared Goff is a Ram at this moment. It's way too early to speculate," Snead told reporters.

The "beautiful mystery" portion of Snead's quote appeared to be a nod to a similar phrasing made by Aaron Rodgers regarding his future with the Green Bay Packersβ€”or, at the very least, an odd coincidence. Rodgers' future with the Packers appears to be up in the air after he was noncommittal about a return following Green Bay's NFC Championship Game loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Goff threw for 3,952 yards and 20 touchdowns against 13 interceptions during the regular season. While the Rams have won 45 games with him under center since 2017, the second-most of any quarterback in that time frame behind Tom Brady, the Rams' ceiling appears limited with Goff.

After stellar back-to-back seasons in 2017 and 2018 appeared to entrench Goff as a franchise quarterback, teams have seemingly figured out his limitations, and he has struggled to make adjustments. Football Outsiders ranked him as the 20th-best quarterback in the NFL this season.

Releasing Goff is a nonstarter because it would come with a dead-cap charge of between $49.8 million and $65.2 million. A trade is far more feasible, costing the Rams $22.2 million in dead cap before June 1 and $6.8 million after June 1.

It's unclear what the Rams saw in Wolford that could have convinced them he's a viable long-term option. Wolford threw for 231 yards and an interception in his lone career start, a regular-season finale win over the Arizona Cardinals. He was 3-of-6 for 29 yards before exiting the Rams' Wild Card Round win over the Seattle Seahawks with a neck injury.

While Wolford does bring a scrambling dynamic Goff does not, he's a 25-year-old undrafted free agent who did not flash many impressive passes during his limited NFL sample. It seems more likely that, if the Rams move on from Goff, it would be for a different veteran option rather than Wolford.