Just when you thought the NFL was predictable, the Rams of all teams landed Matthew Stafford on Saturday night. That’s after credible sources on Saturday left the Rams off their lists of teams to acquire Stafford. Expect the unexpected in the NFL.
Could you imagine how tired of Jared Goff and his contract the Rams had to have been to trade a first-round pick to get rid of Goff? That says a lot. It wreaks desperation, but it’s easy to understand why Sean McVay has been frustrated.
I think the 49ers want to trade Jimmy Garoppolo, but he has no trade value because everyone thinks the 49ers want Stafford and will cut Garoppolo. So they’re trying to pump up Garoppolo’s value by saying they don’t want Stafford.
I also think the Lions expected to receive the 49ers first-round pick in the upcoming draft — pick No. 12. Failing that, I think the Lions hoped to get the 49ers’ first-round pick in 2022 in the deal. The Lions currently own the seventh pick in the 2021 draft, and want another first-rounder that they can package with their own to move up and draft a quarterback to replace Stafford.
J.J. Watt has been the franchise’s star for a decade, but as he seeks clarity on his future in Houston, could he be a potential trade target for the 49ers?
Watt, who turns 32 in March, isn’t quite the same player that was churning out double-digit sack seasons with ease, but still was a productive player for the Texans in 2020, finishing with five sacks, 14 tackles for loss and an interception and fumble recovery apiece over 16 games.
The five-time All-Pro is entering the final year of a contract that is set to pay him $17.5 million. Watt likely wants to play for a winner at this stage of his career, as Houston is just 3-5 over eight playoff games with Watt on the field.
So to start things off, the 49ers would have to offer their first-round picks in the next three years (2021-23).
But what else can the Texans scrape from general manager John Lynch? Considering Houston is without a second-round pick (and their first-rounder) this year, thanks to the Laremy Tunsil trade with the Miami Dolphins, they can recoup it by taking San Francisco’s 2021 and 2022 second-rounders.
Now, the 49ers have to wrap up the deal.
Perhaps the trait that makes Surtain the most intriguing is his experience. He was a starter for all three of his seasons with the Crimson Tide, save for three games his freshman year. In 40 games for Alabama, Surtain racked up 116 tackles, six tackles for loss, four interceptions, 24 pass breakups and four forced fumbles. He figures to step in and be a starter on Day 1, which would be a plus for a San Francisco team that devoid of talent at cornerback.
Over the last three and a half years, Garoppolo has:
- Accomplished Something that’s never been done in NFL history
- Leading a 1-10 football team to a 6-10 finish
- Gave the franchise and fan base Something to believe in
- Torn his ACL
- Started in the Super Bowl the very next year
- Battled a high ankle-sprain
That’s a wide range of experiences to go through in such a short time frame.
As for the Lions? They have all kinds of draft picks, but they’ve married themselves to one of the league’s more limited quarterbacks through the next couple of years, and the debt is frightening.
Sometimes, you have to look beyond the obvious to see how things work in the future. The Rams got a much, much, better quarterback at a time when they have everything else they need to contend. The Lions just hamstrung themselves with a supremely limited quarterback at a time when they’re going through a massive rebuild. Draft picks or not, the Rams won this trade in a landslide, and that’s why.