Competition, the QB Position and a Rebuild

The Lions are in a position in 2021 to do something they have never done:
Have a long-term answer at the QB position AND have competition there. Let me explain.

For years , many here noted that Stafford that Matt needed to be pushed by someone and I agreed then. This season the Lions have a real shot at finding a veteran QB AND drafting a guy with real upside.

I am thinking the Lions want a system that allows a QB to run when necessary and they want a great running game. I think the combination of Marcus Mariota (signed by the Raiders right now through 2021) and a top rookie is just too damn smart right now. Get a rookie who plays the game in a similar way to Marcus and let the competition unfold. That can be any of the top young QBs. Let them sit behind Marcus for a year or more. If Marcus kicks ass here we are gold. If Marcus stinks we have a back up plan B.

What I think drives this set of decisions is this staff really has two seasons to win a considerable amount of games. Stink in 2021 and 2022 and there is blood in the water. The staff us likely dead if they cannot win a bunch of games by 2022.

Drafting a young guy and rolling with that is a recipe to get fire if you are wrong. This is a theory Wes had turned me on to and I think he is right. Show your team is competitive by year two or you have to be a clear exception to the rule as most coaches win by year two. Two losing seasons and you are most likely you be fired during your third season.

Why put your eggs in a rookie basket or in a veteran’s basket who cannot do the job (Tyrod Taylor…I am looking straight at you).

I think Stafford needs to be traded for enough picks to trade for Marcus Mariota and that may cost a 2nd rounder. Make sure to get a first for Matt as that second is likely gone used as a trade piece.

To me this front office and staff need to show me they are finally setting this team up for success. Trade FOR Mariota AND draft a top rookie and the benefits will redound for years to come. Let the rookie sit and if Marcus kicks ass…lock his ass down. Marcus is 28 in October and he as a shot at pulling a Tannehill AND the Lions seem to want a mobile QB. The Raiders need cap space and if they want draft assets they will be willing to get something for Marcus now as next year you are going to lose him for nothing.

Yes that is a lot of $ to pay for a rookie QB to NOT play. But with Matt gone the rookie AND Marcus will make considerably less that Stafford and maybe we can still be competitive. If Marcus sees his shot here but has to hold off a top rookie that seems ideas.

The Lions sit in a rare position right now and they need to make sagacious decisions right now. They need to change the course of this franchise and that starts with making good decisions at the QB position. Trade Matt, trade FOR Marcus and draft a kid at #7 OA and let him learn the system and the game. And if Marcus looks fantastic here lock down Marcus too. Spend the assets to have long-term continuity at the QB position.

Campbell need to win by year two. He isn’t getting four season if he loses for three seasons. He likely will be fired mod-way through season three if he doesn’t win by year two.

I am back to thinking the simplest thought is the real thought. The Colts pull the trigger with their 1st and 21nd rd. picks in 2021. The Colts are out of answers and are in win now mode. Could they trade for Mariota (or anothe rteam trade for Marcus)? Yep. But Marcus stunk later in TN and he is a huge risk compared to Stafford. That is why the Lions need Marcus AND a top rookie to get the competition balance right. Like Vrabel did with Marcus and Ryan T. Marcus plus a top drafted rookie is taking this seriously.

Get enough assets from the Colts to get an extra 1str rd. pick in 2021 and use that second rd. pick to secure your veteran QB and get to work.

I think counting on drafting and starting a rookie is a serious mistake. I think counting on a guy like Tyrod Taylor or Can Newton is a terrible mistake even if we also draft a rookie as those careers are set and those guys are likely done. Cam was bad in New England last season. Taylor is 32 in August. Marcus is 5 years younger than Stafford and there may still be life there.

If the Lions screw up this position at this point the franchise is in trouble as you will have wasted 2022 if your decisions in 2021 don’t work. Why take that chance, Hedge your bet and get Marcus and draft a top rookie…but get a 1st and 2nd for Matt in 2021 and then use that to stabilize the QB position for now and maybe years to come.

I think it worth noting that Tyrod Taylor was brought in to back up Philip Rivers in 2019. Not as a starter. Tyrod beat out a rookie in the year of Covid with a shorter pre-season. I don’t think Anthony Lynn would stake his word on Tyrod being the man here to lead this team even for one season.

Cam Newton appears like he is done.

I don’t think it wise at all for the Lions to trade for a QB making a lot of $ now…like Goff or Wentz. Or Jimmy Garopollo.

I don’t think a guy like Jacoby Brissett would be wise with a multi-year deal. Or any free agent overall. That requires a multi-year deal. That applies to Mitch Trubisky too. Dak Prescott.

Marcus Mariota is signed for 2021 and the Raiders need to free up $. Make them a legit draft pick offer and they will let him go. We can strike this deal after we trade Matt as we should have enough draft assets to make moves like this.

I think the Lions get a 2021 1st and a 2nd for Matt and we need to turn that into QB stability. Give a rookie time but still field a product worth watching with a guy who has the talent to possibly win the long term position. BUT…who is also on a one year prove it deal who is motivated as hell AND plays the position like we want it played.

In three seasons I don’t think there would be a better way to spend a second round pick than to give a top rookie QB time to develop while forcing the rookie and a veteran to EARN the position. And IF Marcus blows up then awesome…we have our guy and a valuable back-up QB. Perfect.

I like the overall idea. Veteran mobile web, with a rook too.
But holy hell, a 2nd rounder for Mariota? No chance. 6th tops. Turn it to a 5th if he starts 8 games. No more.

This thread isn’t about just Mariota but it is important to understand wat he specifically brings to the table:

  1. Signed for one year
  2. His deal is affordable
  3. His game may be a template the Lions want meaning the offense should stay the same if the Lions want a mobile QB
  4. He can be the long-term answer deserving of an additional investment
  5. All those factors will lead to one hell of a QB competition.
  6. We can also cut Chase Daniel. Chase makes almost as much as Marcus makes right now! Absurd.
  7. Marcus is 28 in October.

Who am I missing that offers more than that? Is a second high? Hell yes it is. Crazy high? IF Marcus is good here it would be the best free agent trade the Lions ever made, surpassing the Golden Tate signing. If Marcus isn’t good here…there are no future ramifications and we have a year to evaluate our second year QB to see if we feel like the kid is ready to step up.

Losing a 2nd rd. pick is high but as it is being used to invest in the QB position is seems snart to me. Feel free to draft Lance Trey of Fields as Marcus buys time and Marcus might just be really good still and there is nothing wrong with having two good QBs on the roster. Let the young QB sit on the bench.

Hell…if Marcus IS good…we can easily get the 2nd rd. investment back by trading the rookie we draft high in 2021. And of Marcus is bad and we lose a 2nd rd. pick in 2021 it was still worth it is the rookie blows up in 2022 after a year of sitting and learning.

This thread just got more interesting I think.

The Lions now have Goff, a QB making roughly $28 million in 2021 ( versus Marcus making $10.7 million inn 2021) and they didn’t have to trade for Marcus thus keeping that draft pick.

The Lions have all their original 2021 draft picks a new 3rd rd. pick in 2021 and 2 1st rd. picks in the future.

If the Lions draft a QB now they will have time and competition in 2021 and maybe 2022. Very nice. Smart IF they take a QB. But that is a lot to pay for the QB spot.

Was it wise to take on Goff and his contract V. say Mariota and the draft pick required to secure his contract? Hard to say.

Goff is a guy who turns 27 in October. He has experience. The Rams gave up on him so he will be motivated. Draft a top QB and let the competition begin.

The main issue here is but can be dealt with a number of different ways. If Goff is a mid point QB allowing a rookie time to be groomed I can live with that.

To me the question now becomes when to draft a QB and what kind of an offensive system we will run.

It is important to remember that McVay inherited Jared Goff in 2017. Sean had never been a QB coach (he was a TE coach). Sean has a TE coach then an OC for the Redskins between 2010-2016. These are the QBs Sean worked with/saw:

  1. Rex Grossman in 2010-2011
  2. Robert Griffin 2012-2014
  3. Kirk Cousins 2015-2016

Kirk Cousins isn’t that much different than Jared Goff. When Sean went to LA in 2017 Kirk did about the same in Washington without Sean. Comp. % was similar, TDs/INTs was similar and the team record was middling so similar there too. The Redskins scored the 16th most points in the NFL in 2017 (when Sean left) but in 2014 they were 26th in points scored, in 2015 they were 10th in points scored and in 2016 they were 12th in points scored. Good but not amazing.

I think Jared Goff is a more expensive bridge QB who adds 2 additional 1st rd. draft picks in 2022 and 2023. I can live with that. Draft a top rookie and lets develop talent and see if Goff has game left to be developed. If so…hell yes. If not…we have tools to help the next tool seasons.