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In 2021, the Lions and Rams agreed to a shocking trade that sent Jared Goff to Detroit and Matthew Stafford to Los Angeles.

Goff was handed the reins to a team that hadn’t achieved a winning record in three years, and expectations were low. However, Goff looks back on that trade now and seems pleased with how it went.

“In hindsight, (being traded to Detroit) was the greatest thing that ever happened to me, for my career and my development as a human,” Goff said on the Trading Cards podcast, via the Detroit Free Press.
After a rocky first season with the Lions, winning just three games, the team developed quickly, and the next two seasons showed true promise for a bright future. The Lions had a winning season of 9-8 in 2022 and finished second in the NFC North — the same year Goff got his third Pro Bowl selection. Then, in 2023, the Lions bounced back even better.

Despite what some may have expected of Goff when he first arrived in Detroit, he was ready to take on the challenge waiting for him.

“Being shipped off and being sent to a place to die, essentially, is what a lot of people think it was and I was never going to allow that to happen,” Goff said. “I’m fortunate enough to be around a lot of good coaches and players in Detroit that support me and help me reach my potential.”
Detroit ended the 2023 season with a 12-5 record, top of their division and the No. 3 seed in the playoffs. During Wild Card Weekend, Goff and the rest of the team had the opportunity to win the franchise its first playoff game in 32 years, and they did. Goff beat his old team, the Los Angeles Rams, but was not done there. After that, Detroit would go on to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Divisional Round before losing to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game. During that season, Goff threw for 4,575 yards, scored 30 touchdowns and had a 67.3 completion percentage.
Goff quickly became a leader on this Lions offense and in the city of Detroit. The 29-year-old understands that and talked about how being in this environment has helped him.

“I’ve just gotten older and you get more comfortable in your voice,” Goff said. “And I think there was an element to being empowered that happened in Detroit with Dan and a lot of the coaches and people there that were like ‘Dude no. You go. This is your thing, you go figure it out,’ whereas as a young player, that wasn’t always the case.”

Now, as Goff continues to develop in this system and the Lions gear up for another season, time will tell if this is the year they make it all the way.

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