“No more meetings, no more discussions, no more Sollozzo tricks. You give’em one message: I want Sollozzo! If not, it’s all-out war. We go to the mattresses!”—Sonny Corleone
The Los Angeles Rams have gone to the mattresses. They didn’t maneuver to make peace, they didn’t adjust to make friends, they didn’t take a breath and consider the feelings of others.
They went to the mattresses.
That’s the best take-away when looking at the trade that sent Jared Goff and a load of draft picks to the Detroit Lions for Matthew Stafford.
There’s so much to like about this deal…but here are the five that came to me on Saturday night when my phone started blowing up.
1.) The Rams didn’t trade two first-round picks and a third for Stafford. They traded two first-round picks and a third for the Lions to take Goff’s contract.
At the most, with twelve years of mileage, Stafford’s worth a single number one. The deal was about the contract.
2.) The trade brings Stafford to Los Angeles, not San Francisco. About a month ago in this column, I predicted Stafford would go to the 49ers—I was wrong. Happy to say.
So not only did the Rams get the quarterback they wanted, but they also got the quarterback the 49ers wanted. They got stronger, their enemy remains weaker.
You saw what Kyle Shanahan’s team was able to do to the Rams with Nick Mullens under center. Imagine what the Frisco offense would look like with those receivers and a high-end NFL quarterback. (No, Jimmy Garoppolo is not a high-end quarterback. Yes, he went to a Super Bowl…But so did Goff.)
3.) Because of the trade, the Rams now have room to re-sign both John Johnson III and Darious Williams–possibly. This keeps the secondary intact, helps an already lethal defensive line, and continues to make the defense the best, overall, in the NFL.
4.) Stafford. He’s been an exceptional NFL quarterback for one of the worse run professional franchises in sports history. He has an arm that can still zip the ball, still has legs to move, and he makes decisions faster than Goff. Meaning he reads defenses better than the guy who just got sent to Detroit.
5.) The Rams are declaring—again—that they are all in about winning a championship. They consistently break the model and the rules about hoarding draft picks. Les Snead and Sean McVay see these picks as unknown commodities that can be moved for proven ones.
Is Jalen Ramsey better than any two first-round defensive backs? Absolutely. Will Stafford be better than two number one picks likely picked late in the first round? Of course!
The Rams were expected to drink the hemlock of a bad contract and lay down to die for several years, working off the now outdated paradigm of first-round draft picks. Instead, management declares they are not only in it to win it but are in the process of changing how business is done in the NFL.
It’s an amazing thing to see.
“Take Him To Detroit!”
Jared Goff played as well as he could play, but it’s unlikely he’s going to get any better playing for the Lions. By the time the draft picks arrive and Lions’ GM Brad Holmes puts the team he wants together, Goff will be a backup in Minnesota.
No hard feelings…But when a franchise can say goodbye to Kurt Warner after two Super Bowl appearances and a title…It can say goodbye to anybody…
Phoenix at Dallas: Suns win—109-108
The Suns (11-8) with Devin Booker back in the lineup and hitting a crucial three in the final seconds handed the Mavericks (8-13) their sixth consecutive loss. As NBA games go it was entertaining, and it’s one of a handful of the 53 games I’ve seen where the effort was total. Phoenix guard Chris Paul led all scorers with 34-pts.
Brooklyn at Washington: Wizards win—149-146
The Wizards (4-12) rally to take entertaining game against the Nets (13-9).
Give me Bradley Beal any time any day. Yes, there was no defense…but it wasn’t a case of zero effort or indifference…It only looked like no one knew how to play defense.
Lakers at Boston: Lakers win—96-95
This was a brutal game to watch. And made even more brutal when considering these are the NBA’s two flagship franchises. The Lakers (15-6) pulled it out the win, but the contest was loaded with everything bad. Celtics (10-8) collapse, LeBron James complaints, and Anthony Davis on the floor in “agony.” (Although, after seeing the shot Davis took to the “inner thigh” I could understand the agony. Disappointed with this one
Milwaukee at New Orleans: Pelicans win—131-126
Pelicans (7-10) led 68-45 at the half. Zion Williamson might be the best show to watch in the NBA.
The Bucks (11-7) lack a killer. Milwaukee rallies from 28 down in the third, cut the lead to seven, but get no closer.
Dallas at Utah: Jazz win—120-101
The Jazz (15-4) took a twenty point lead in the first, and led by 26, 84-68, at the end of the third quarter. They were never challenged in picking up their 11th consecutive victory and have the best record in the NBA. Bojan Bogdanović led all scorers with 32-pts.
For the Mavericks (8-11) is was their fourth loss in a row.
NBA Games Seen: 53
The Dude abides…
1 Corinthians 5:6
Joe T. is the author of “Tangent Dreams: A High School Football Novel” … “Temple City & The Company of The Ages” … “The Dead Bug Tales” … “The Dark Norm” & “FaithViews for Storm Riders”…all five available through Amazon.com.
Follow Joe on Twitter @joet13b
MeWe: Joe Torosian