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With Rams' Move For Stafford, NFC West Just Got Harder

Reported trade for Lions QB sends Goff to Detroit

The Cardinals were already searching for answers at the end of the season, both in their quest to move up the standings in the NFC West and how to beat the Los Angeles Rams, which they have been unable to do in the past eight attempts. Both were made more difficult Saturday night, after the Rams reportedly traded for veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford of the Lions.

Multiple reports have the Rams sending QB Jared Goff, a 2021 third-round pick and first-round picks in 2022 and 2023 to Detroit for Stafford, who has two years left on his contract and turns 33 in a week.

The Rams had to come up with the expensive package both to make the Lions take Goff's hefty contract, and because the Rams didn't have a first-round pick in 2021. In fact, once the trade goes through, the Rams will have been without a first-round pick from 2017-2023 -- seven straight drafts -- unless they trade back into the first round. Not that it'll matter to them if Stafford can give them the one thing they seem to have been missing under coach Sean McVay, which is consistent quarterback play.

No trades can be consummated until March 17, when the new league year begins. But for a second straight year, it'll be a blockbuster deal with an NFC West team that will have grabbed everyone's offseason attention, including a way for a team to off load a seemingly difficult-to-offload contract. Last year, it was the Cardinals not only finding a way to get wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, but also dealing running back David Johnson's contract. This year, it's the Rams.

And as for the potential price for 25-year-old Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, after Stafford brings in that haul? Yikes.

FILE - In this Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, file photo, Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) is sacked by Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker Devon Kennard (42) and defensive tackle Corey Peters (98) during the first half of an NFL football game in Glendale, Ariz. The New Orleans Saints and Detroit Lions are in unfamiliar territory. New Orleans has lost consecutive games for the first time in three years and Detroit just ended an 11-game, 11-month losing streak. The matchup of teams with 1-2 records on Sunday at Ford Field may prove to be pivotal.(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)