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Why the Jared Goff Deal is a Steal

So many different opinions are out there today about Jared Goff’s new contract extension. There’s even some people out there who say the Rams will forever regret this contract. These same people will tell you he is the only QB in the history of football that works within a system, speaks to his coaches until the allotted time is up and has a good running game. The reality is that the likelihood is high that Jared Goff will be looked at historically as a steal. To illustrate that, we’ll first show you that objectively Goff is a top 10, close to top 5 QB in the NFL. Then we’ll show you exactly how this contract will be considered a steal in the future.

Five points showing Jared Goff is a top 10 to top 5 QB in the NFL:

When looking at Jared through traditional stats over the 2 years since he’s been under McVay, its hard to argue he’s not a top 10, maybe even top 5 QB. (These stats have a minimum pass attempts of 600)

  • #5 in passing yards. #1 in passing yards is Ben Roethlisberger who also leads the NFL in interceptions over the last two years. The others are Matt Ryan, Tom Brady & Philip Rivers.
  • #5 in passing touchdowns. Again Big Ben is on this list with his league leading interceptions. The others are Russell Wilson and again Tom Brady and Philip Rivers.
  • #6 in QB rating. The five ahead of him are Carson Wentz, Russell Wilson, Drew Brees, Patrick Mahomes (only 17 starts) and DeShaun Watson (only 22 starts).
  • #1 in Wins. Goff is tied for #1 in wins with Drew Brees and Tom Brady with 24.

You may have noticed the only constant on this list is Jared Goff. You got some guys who are on a few lists. You also have guys like Mahomes and Watson who could potentially be on here with more games played and opportunities to rack up yards and touchdowns (although they would also have the opportunity to lower their Yards per Attempt and QB rating in the process). The only traditional stat that Jared Goff doesn’t dominate is completion %. Goff’s completion % has gone up every year he’s been in the NFL and is still better than Russell Wilson, who most consider to be a top 5 QB.

2. Taking a look at a few advanced stats continues to shine a bright light on the Rams QB for at least the next 6 years and validate the reality that Goff is indeed a top tier QB (also a minimum of 600 pass attempts).

  • #6 in touchdown percentage. TD% is the percentage of touchdowns per pass attempt. The five QB’s above him are Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson, Carson Wentz, Deshaun Watson and the recently retired Andrew Luck.
  • #7 in interception percentage. Just like TD%, INT% is the percentage of interceptions thrown per pass attempt (but of course, fewer is better). The six above Goff are Aaron Rodgers, Alex Smith, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Carson Wentz and Matt Ryan. Of those, Alex Smith’s career is in questions and Rodgers & Wentz both had injury issues.
  • #3 in Yards per Attempt. The two guys ahead of Goff are Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson who have 17 and 22 starts respectively. With more time those Yards per Attempt stats are likely to drop some.

3. We get more of the same story when we look at analytics. Stats from PFF and Football Outsiders tell us more of the same for Goff.

  • #8 in Pro Football Focus overall rating. The seven guys above Goff are Drew Brees, Patrick Mahomes, Andrew Luck, Philip Rivers, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson.
  • #5 & #6 in football outsiders Defense-adjusted Value Over Average. DVOA is football outsiders stat that represents value per play for an average quarterback in the same game situations. Goff ranked 5th in 2017 and 6th in 2018. QB’s who ranked above Goff in 2017 are Case Keenum, Tom Brady, Philip Rivers and Drew Brees. In 2018 it was Patrick Mahomes, Drew Brees, Philip Rivers, Matt Ryan and Ryan Fitzpatrick.
  • #1 in passer rating outside the pocket in 2018. PFF rates QB passer rating in many different scenarios and Goff was number 1 on his ability to make passes outside the pocket in 2018.
  • #1 in deep ball completion percentage. The Deep Ball Project at Football Outsiders lists QB passes of 21 air yards or more.

4. The next point is about how he is viewed by other NFL players. The NFL has players rank each other in the NFL Top 100. In 2018 Goff was rated by his peers as the 8th best QB in the NFL and since Andrew Luck’s retirement, that now puts him at 7th in the NFL. The 6 QB’s above Goff are Drew Brees, Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Philip Rivers & Russell Wilson.

There is a lot of media narrative out there about Goff being nothing more than a “system QB”, and that Goff gets special treatment from McVay as they often communicate the full allotted time by the NFL down to 15 seconds left in the play clock. These narratives which have long been proven to be benefits that all NFL QBs get to take advantage of, are clearly something that the NFL players do not care about.

5. Pushing aside the stats, the other important aspect of being a quality QB is leadership and intangibles. This may be Goff’s best quality of all. You won’t find any teammate of Jared Goff with anything but positive things to say about the QB of the Rams. Coaches and teammates praise his constant even keel demeanor, he is consistently level headed and doesn’t let the pressure get to him.

After the disastrous rookie season Goff endured, most players would have lost confidence and been down. Goff responded by promising to do everything in his power to turn it around, and then delivering. Goff has been a steady and ready leader in the locker room and commands the offense with the respect of all his teammates in the huddle and on the sideline. He is tied for 3rd in the NFL with five 4th quarter comebacks in the last two years and let’s not forget he just took his team to the Superbowl.

Why this deal is a steal:

A) Jared Goff is only 24. He is already doing all the things listed above and he isn’t even close to his prime yet. He has shown steady improvement every year and proved to be coachable, humble and willing to work hard and learn. These traits have helped him become a top tier QB in the NFL. There is not one reason to believe that Goff won’t continue to grow as a QB and become even better, especially as consistency with the same system and weapons continues for him. By the time this extension kicks in (2021), Goff will be 26 years old and just starting to enter his prime.

No matter how you dice it up, Goff has had one of the most promising starts to an NFL career, ever. When looking at passer rating for the 2nd and 3rd years of a QB’s career in NFL history, Goff comes in 3rd behind Kurt Warner and Carson Wentz (and he was one year younger than Wentz and five years younger than Warner). Jared has been a breath of fresh air for Rams fans who haven’t had a good QB since Kurt Warner and yet his youth adds optimism for even greater growth and a more promising future, throughout the life of this extension.

B) This deal doesn’t kick in until 2021 and that is a very important factor. Prices for QB’s has gone up substantially every year for quite some time now. By 2021 it would be surprising if we don’t have our first $40mil/year QB considering we’re sitting at $35mil/year right now with Russell Wilson. The NFL salary cap increases on average $7-10mil per year. Taking only natural cap growth into account, it wouldn’t be hard to see the salary cap be in the $205-210mil range by 2021.

But that doesn’t encompass the whole reason this deal is both brilliant and a steal. For a couple of years now Rams general manager has expressed his desire to get big deals done before the 2021 NFL CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement). During the CBS meetings the NFL and NFLPA will be discussing the percentage of the leagues profits that go to players.

Most people who are well versed on how these proceedings work believe there is a good chance that the players will get a large boost in the percentage of league profits. This will result in an unusually large increase in the salary cap. It’s possible that the league’s salary cap will actually sit somewhere around the $230-250mil per year mark. That will only cause QB salaries to go up even more than usual. In 2019 $33.5mil is 17.8% of the teams cap space. By 2021 that will be a high prediction of 15.9% (with a $210mil cap) or low end of 13.4% (with a $250mil cap).

Rams fans should be happy with their QB and his new contract. Jared Goff and Sean McVay are going to be a great coach/QB combo for a long time to come making the Rams relevant and dangerous for the foreseeable future.