Rams Fleeced by Lions in Blockbuster Trade

The Detroit Lions easily won the Matthew Stafford trade with the Los Angeles Rams.
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The National Football League certainly moves fast. 

After less than 180 hours after news broke that Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions were parting ways, new Lions general manager Brad Holmes pulled off one of the best trades in Detroit sports history. 

Late Saturday evening, the Lions and Los Angeles Rams agreed in principal to a trade that involved sending Matthew Stafford to the Rams in exchange for two first-round picks, a third-round pick and quarterback Jared Goff. 

The trade will become official after the league year begins in March. 

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Many supporters and analysts agreed that Detroit could command a first-round pick for a player of Stafford's caliber. 

But, getting two first-rounders? That was a truly surprising return for an aging quarterback without a track record of team success and with a track record of serious injuries. 

For Holmes, securing the additional first-round pick meant taking on a contract the Rams were desperately trying to get off their books. 

According to SB Nation, "The Rams were in a situation where they were going to have to eat cap hits of $35, $33 and $32.5 million over the next three seasons with Goff, and cutting him would have only made matters worse. The Lions will only be assuming the remaining guarantees on Goff’s contract, which include his $25.325 million salary in 2021."

Detroit's front office still has an opportunity to restructure Goff's deal. By converting a portion of his salary into a bonus, that amount would be spread out over the course of his entire contract; thus, reducing his overall cap hit. 

The move makes financial sense in the long run for the Lions. If Goff does not pan out, they can move on from him in 2023, and save $25 million in cap space.

For Los Angeles, it won't make its next first-round selection until the 2024 NFL Draft. 

The organization hasn't selected in the first round since 2016, making a series of trades to move up in the draft and to acquire talented players.

Prior to the trade, Detroit only possessed five picks in this year's draft. 

It now possesses six picks with the additional third-rounder.

According to multiple reports, Detroit had at least seven trade offers for Stafford -- all of which included a first-round pick.

The Lions won't have to wait long to reunite with their former franchise passer, as they play the Rams in Los Angeles next season.