The Detroit Lions traded soon-to-be 33-year-old quarterback Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday night, though the deal can’t be official until March. The Rams gave up two future first-round picks plus a 2021 third-round pick and QB Jared Goff (with his anchor of a contract).
Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen will turn 25 before the season starts and has two years of team control, one at a cap-friendly number and one at a top QB salary. What the heck is that guy worth on the open market after the MVP-type season he had in 2021?
Let’s start with the concept of the Rams’ trade. They had to throw in a first-round pick just so the Lions would take on the albatross that is Goff’s deal. With a large chunk of guaranteed money heading his way, the Rams couldn’t afford both Stafford and Goff and they couldn’t cut Goff because of the guarantees, so they had to sweeten the pot to get the Lions to take on that contract.
For argument’s sake, let’s say that Stafford was worth the 2022 first-rounder and the 2021 third-rounder. That’s actually low, probably adjusting for Stafford’s age.
In 2009, the Denver Broncos traded Jay Cutler to the Chicago Bears in exchange for Kyle Orton, two first-round picks, and a third-round pick. Cutler had just finished his third season in the league and was 26, and was in the top three in multiple passing statistics as Allen did in 2020.
There are reports out there that Deshaun Watson, the disgruntled quarterback of the Houston Texans, could fetch three first-rounders in his deal or something like a top-three pick in 2021 and a future first rounder with sweeteners thrown in.
I know you wouldn’t trade him right now and neither would the Buffalo Bills, but it’s at least interesting to see what he would be worth on the open market. Teams spend a lot of time and money and draft capital to find guys playing like Watson and Allen. This is just the beginning of a wild offseason of QB carousel.