All throughout his tenure with the Detroit Lions, general manager Brad Holmes has expressed that the organization could still draft a quarterback with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
“Yeah, seeing him now, I do expect Jared (Goff) to come in and start, to be our starting quarterback. I don’t see anything other than that," Holmes said last week.
"With respect to where we’re at, at seven overall with the draft, regarding the quarterback position, like I told you guys previously -- and it hadn’t changed -- when you’re picking inside the top 10, you’re not in a position to ignore any positions. You’re just not," Holmes explained further. "The quarterback position is very important, and if the value is there and the right guy is there, then he’d be in heavy consideration. So, this doesn’t change anything that we spoke about previously regarding the draft. We do expect Jared to come in, compete and be a starter.”
On Wednesday, it was reported that Goff and the Lions had restructured his contract, saving the team $15 million in cap space by converting $20 million of his base salary into a signing bonus.
While the Lions now have increased cap space, one of the issues that now has been created is the $15 million they saved still must be accounted for at some point.
Goff’s total salary-cap hit in 2022 is $30.5 million, $30 million in 2023 and $31 million in 2024.
According to MLive, "The restructure also means it would cost $15 million more in dead money to part with Goff next offseason, for a total of $30.5 million. In other words, while the move helps Detroit financially this year, it also probably ties the club to Goff through at least next season too. The dead money falls to $10 million in 2023 and $5 million in 2024, making the veteran quarterback much more expendable."
Another aspect of restructuring Goff's contract that is currently being debated is the value of Detroit's 2021 first-round pick.
Did the Lions just lower the value of the No. 7 overall pick by declaring to the league they are tied to Goff for the next two seasons?
"Signaling to teams that you're locked to Goff for two seasons lowers the trade value of the 7th pick for teams who might trade up for a QB (conceivably the only position worth trading up for this year). If Lions want Goff, they can't look like they HAVE to keep him," NFL analyst Kent Lee Platte explained on social media.
Detroit has signaled to the league that Goff is likely staying in town longer.
Holmes has an obvious affinity for the ex-Rams quarterback, and likely feels Goff is the quarterback best suited to lead Detroit during a rebuild.
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It would not preclude a team from still trading up, if the organization found a player worthy of taking.
Offensive lineman Penei Sewell and tight end Kyle Pitts have been working their way up draft boards the past few weeks.
If teams enamored with certain players find that they want to trade with Detroit, Holmes & Co. will still be able to create the proper market for the No. 7 pick.
Finally, Detroit's front office may also simply want to stay put and select the player that it feels best helps the team improve.
While committing to Goff longer is not quite as appealing, restructuring his contract was the right decision at this point in Detroit's rebuilding process.
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