Jared Goff: Journey to Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Nomination


Jared Goff: Journey to the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Nomination

From Marin County, California to the No. 1 overall pick of the Los Angeles Rams, Jared Goff was destined for NFL glory. And for a while, he delivered, leading the Rams to the playoffs three times and even a Super Bowl appearance. However, in 2021, the Rams decided he wasn’t their best option at quarterback. Jared Goff was blindsided.

After years of being a consistent and team-centric player for the Los Angeles Rams, he was suddenly on the move to the Detroit Lions. But as it turns out, this trade was exactly what Goff needed. A fresh start in a new city, with a coaching staff and organization that desires him.

Embracing the City of Detroit

Since joining the Lions in 2021, Goff has been a leader in the team’s charitable efforts. He has continued his long-standing dedication to youth in the Detroit community, pouring his time and resources into local schools. In collaboration with Give Merit’s FATE Program, Goff and his brand, JG16, have developed a partnership that provides college scholarships to Detroit students. The quarterback matches 100% of the profits from the sale of JG16 clothing products, which are designed by Goff and four FATE students.

Detroit Lions’ head coach, Dan Campbell, thinks extremely high of Goff and his character. Coach Campbell has stated that “Jared has done a remarkable job connecting with this community since the day he became a Detroit Lion. It’s no surprise that our city has embraced him in return. His work in both Los Angeles and Detroit so far throughout his young NFL career speaks for itself. He sets an incredible example for not only his teammates, but more importantly the younger generation that looks up him.”

Detroit Lions Academy and a Legacy Beyond the City

Goff has also been instrumental in enhancing the learning experience at Detroit Lions Academy, an alternative middle school. He established the JG16 STEAM Lab, which provides students with a creative space to learn and develop critical thinking, problem-solving, teamwork, intellectual curiosity, and flexibility. The STEAM Lab was equipped with new furniture, workbenches, tools, and Lego walls. Goff’s commitment to the project earned him the 2021 Week 5 NFLPA Community MVP Award. This came with a $10,000 donation from the NFLPA.

Goff’s commitment to education and community service extends beyond his time in Detroit. While playing in Los Angeles, he was heavily involved in the Irvine Unified School District, hosting virtual reading sessions, school events, and book drives. He even founded a Makerspace and STEAM Lab at Warren Elementary School alongside the JG16 Reading Zone. After leaving Los Angeles, Jared Goff continued to serve the children of IUSC by donating $250,000 to finance one million meals and providing the school district with over 20,000 masks for students and their families.

Man of the Year Award: Recognizing Jared Goff

Jared Goff was named the team’s nominee for the 2022 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. This prestigious award recognizes NFL players for their outstanding community service activities off the field and their excellence on the field. When receiving the nomination, an emotional Goff said. “When I came to Detroit, I didn’t know anything about the city, but seeing these kids and their teachers have made me a better man.”

As a nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award, Goff will wear a helmet decal in recognition of his accomplishments. He will also receive a donation in his name to his charity of choice. The winner of the award, Dak Prescott, will be receiving a larger donation.

Jared Goff’s dedication to communities in which he plays has been unwavering.

His passion for helping the next generation has made him a leader both on and off the field. His nomination for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award is a testament to his commitment to making a difference.

In response to receiving the nominee, Goff shared that “it’s an incredible honor and something I’m proud of and don’t take for granted. It’s important to lend a hand, not only financially but with your energy, and show the community that you’re going to be a part of their lives and a part of the solution. It’s about the people you’re giving back to and it’s about wrapping your arms around a community and wrapping your arms around kids and making sure you’re there for them, and I’m proud to be able to do it. Being a leader in the community and being a leader on our team and this organization, you want to be able to help, and there’s so many places you can in Detroit.”

The Trade that Changed Everything

The trade that sent Goff and a bounty of draft picks to Detroit for Matthew Stafford could have been the end of his NFL story. Instead, it was just the beginning. As the Lions stumbled to a 1-6 start, many were already talking about which college quarterback the team might draft. But, in the face of adversity, Goff rose to the challenge and led the Lions to an improbable playoff push.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” says Goff, as he experiences the euphoria of an unexpected winner on the rise. “We’re winning games now and I’ve had a lot of fun in the community. It’s been a lot of fun to connect with those people and be the quarterback of this team.”

He’s not just a placeholder, but the potential future of the Lions. A 28-year-old quarterback under contract for two more seasons, with the potential to lead the team to their first postseason win in three decades.

Jared Goff was Elite in 2022

The hard work that Goff put in during the off-season paid off. He worked extensively with his coaches and got rep after rep with his wide receivers. Throughout the preseason, local beat writers marveled at how different Goff looked. Quarterback coach Mark Brunell doubled down, confirming that Goff was more confident and assured.

The results of Goff’s hard work were evident in his performance during the 2022 season. He finished fifth overall in QBR, sixth in EPA per play, and second in passing DYAR. By conventional statistics, Goff was brilliant, throwing 29 touchdowns and only seven interceptions, breaking the 4,000-passing yard barrier.

The Search for a Franchise Quarterback in Detroit

The Detroit Lions have been searching for a franchise quarterback for decades. Since Bobby Layne led the team in the 1950s, the Lions have been searching for someone to fill the void. They’ve had talented quarterbacks like Matthew Stafford, but he was unable to bring the team to the promised land.

The Hollywood curtain may have come down on Jared Goff years ago, but he’s delivered an exceptional sequel in Detroit. He’s shown resilience, determination, and leadership. He’s become a fan favorite and has the potential to lead the Lions to great things in the future. With a solid supporting cast and a top-notch coaching staff, the sky’s the limit for Goff and the Lions. The wait for a franchise quarterback in Detroit may finally be over.

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