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Five Players to Replace Jared Goff at QB

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After another terrible performance, Jared Goff led the Rams to a debilitating loss and is not looking like the No. 1 pick the Rams drafted back in 2016 or worth the $134 contract extension he signed last season.

He refused to run with the ball and was more worried about protecting himself over fighting for the division championship and the team’s playoff hopes. It led him to make terrible decisions and force passes that were never going to work. 

Goff is now fifth in the league in interceptions and is squandering away talent on both sides of the ball. This team should have been easy Super Bowl contenders after back to back wins against the Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After their week 11 victory, the Rams are 3-2. Against the Seahawks, Goff threw for 216 yards and an interception but only completed 55% of his passes. He also has a season quarterback rating of 58.5, one of the worst QBRs in the league by a starting quarterback who’s started every game.   

The Rams need a quarterback that’s going to provide more than just his arm. The game is pushing more towards mobile quarterbacks, and the Rams will need it with the likes of Russel Wilson and Kyler Murry in the NFC West. It’s sad to say, but the Rams might never win a Super Bowl with Goff under center. I want to see him do it, but his inconsistent play and refusal to put the team on his back and run with the ball will prevent the Rams from reaching the top.

There are plenty of quarterbacks in the draft and around the league looking for a team primed for a championship run.

Here are some of the possible replacements for Goff.

Photo: AP Photo/Adrian Kraus

Cam Newton // New England Patriots 

Listen, Cam Newton might not have fully returned to form with the New England Patriots, but Bill Belichick’s offense is made for a pocket passer like Tom Brady and Goff. Sean McVay’s offense might not be built for a true runner like Newton, but Newton has the escapability to pick up yardage and first downs when the pocket collapses and makes good decisions under pressure. The big upside with Newton is McVay’s love of the jet sweep. Newton’s running ability give it a third deadly option and will keep defenses guessing the whole game. 

Even with missing games due to COVID-19, Newton has 11 rushing touchdowns in 13 games with an additional five from the passing game, 489 rushing yards, 2,381 passing yards, and a 66% completion percentage. Even better, he’s only six total fumbles (five as a runner) and 10 interceptions. McVay will have to rein in Newton to make their other pieces like Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, and Cam Akers stars as well. Newton is kind of a ball hog and needs to learn to throw the ball. However, he’s never had receivers like Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods to throw to. 

Newton is a free agent next year and hasn’t shown he is back at MVP caliber, so signing him is possible. The Rams could trade Goff to another team or the Patriots for Stephon Gilmore if the Rams lose Troy Hill or Darious Williams to free agency. The only question is if the Patriots can take on Goff’s contract. It would also free up some cap space to sign some of the big defensive pieces that are free agents next year. 

Ian Book // Notre Dame Fighting Irish

If you haven’t been watching Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book over his four years with the Fighting Irish, then you’ve been missing out. This year he’s looked like an All-Pro quarterback. He has excellent pocket awareness and is very elusive. But where he differentiates himself from Goff, he knows when to run and when to throw it away. 

I’m still willing to wait a year on Goff and hope he and McVay focus on some of his decision issues when under pressure. However, Book would be an excellent backup for Goff and a better fit when his number is called. He’s averaged 2,755 passing yards in his three full seasons with Notre Dame and 366 rushing yards per season in four seasons. 

The Rams can unload or keep Goff; it doesn’t matter because Book hasn’t had as much buzz around him as Trevor Lawrence or other quarterback prospects. The Rams’ first pick in the 2021 draft is in the second round but also have two picks in the third round — the earliest Book will go. It’s not a win-now play but one with a lot of potentials to bring a championship back to Los Angeles. 

Trevor Lawrence // Clemson Tigers

Now hear me out because it could be possible for Trevor Lawrence to come to Los Angeles and be the franchise’s new face. Lawrence, in three seasons, has almost 10,000 passing yards and 88 touchdowns. 

Photo: Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sport

There are two ways Lawrence ends up with the Rams; both require a trade. Lawrence is a junior, so he doesn’t have to declare for the draft, and he may wait a year. If he does declare for the 2021 draft, the Rams could trade Goff to the Jacksonville Jaguars for the No. 1 overall pick, which they clinched with their loss to the Chicago Bears and the New York Jets win over the Cleveland Browns. The Rams would also have to their second or third-round picks. It would be the same trade if Lawrence waits a year and declares for the 2022 draft. 

Goff would be great for Jacksonville because Garnder Minshew and Mike Glennon are Band-Aids where Goff could lead a rebuild. Since their 10-6 record and conference championship appearance in 2017, the franchise has declined. Since then, they’ve been getting worse and worse. Lawrence is a mile ahead of all the quarterback prospects, and a change and fresh start might be what the Rams need. 

Nick Foles // Chicago Bears

Nick Foles could return to the Rams. Foles was looking great in his first game with the Jaguars, but an injury in week one sidelined him for Gardner Minshew. He also wasn’t able to rekindle that spark from his Super Bowl-winning stint with the Eagles in Chicago. However, Foles is still a great quarterback and great game manager. He could be the Super Bowl-winning leader the Rams need in the locker room. 

I know some would probably want to stay with Goff after watching the Rams cream the Bears in week 7. However, Foles threw for his second-best game of the season. He completed 70% of his passes for 261 yards. Foles’ week 10 injury left the door open for Mitchell Trubisky to take over, but the poor offensive line play made it difficult for Foles to make a name for himself in Chicago. Trubisky is looking great now because the O-line is playing much better down the stretch. Foles and Carson Wentz both flourished in Philadelphia behind a healthy and killer offensive line. Hopefully, with how well the Rams’ offensive line has played, Foles should have no problem stepping into the spotlight, leading the Rams to a Super Bowl win. 

A straight player for player trade would be the best bet for bringing Foles back to the Rams. Like New England, the question is if the Bears can take on Goff’s contract. The Patriots are better positioned to take on the contract, but Chicago is only a few thousand over the salary cap. If the Bears can make a few moves, the Rams could find themselves with a new quarterback.

Photo: John E. Moore III/Getty Images

Sam Ehlinger // UT Austin Longhorns 

UT Austin’s Sam Ehlinger could be another great fit. He is another mobile quarterback with a fantastic arm. Ehlinger will need to work on being more comfortable in the pocket but will learn over time. He could have declared last season but chose to stay for one more season and greatly improved. Goff will have to stay through his contract before Ehlinger gets a start, but that’s a lot of time for him to improve in the pocket. 

Ehlinger averaged almost 3,000 passing yards and 25 touchdowns per season. He’ll be worth the wait in Sean McVay’s high powered and extremely efficient offense that beats defenses in the air or on the ground.

Goff isn’t helping on the ground, and McVay needs a game manager that contributes with his hands and feet — Ehlinger can provide that.

Featured Image: AP Photo/Scott Eklund
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