Giving up longtime franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford was bound to have a negative short-term impact on the Detroit Lions. That’s part of the plan of the rebuilding project engineered by new GM Brad Holmes and his staff.
So far this offseason, no NFL team has cost itself more impact on the win column than the Lions have by agreeing to trade Stafford to the Rams for QB Jared Goff. The draft compensation coming to Detroit in the deal doesn’t yet factor into Pro Football Focus’s “wins above replacement” valuation for the on-field product.
The Rams top the list of the most improved in terms of WAR addition, almost entirely in the form of Stafford taking over for Goff in Sean McVay’s offense. The Lions are at the other end of the list.
It will be interesting to revisit the WAR additions/subtractions once free agency begins on March 17th. Hopefully the Lions make some positive additions to offset the massive loss of Stafford and the free agent wide receivers who are expected to leave, too.