Lions Brad Holmes’ Masterstroke: Extending Goff before Lawrence


Detroit Lions GM Brad Holmes worked his magic again, securing Jared Goff’s contract extension before the latest (and next) wave of quarterback deals. Holmes’ timing was impeccable, ensuring the Lions’ stability at quarterback while navigating the rapidly inflating quarterback market. Goff’s extension, which some pronounced hefty at the time, now appears to be a masterstroke in comparison to Trevor Lawrence’s recent blockbuster deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Comparing Contracts: Jared Goff and Trevor Lawrence

Earlier this offseason, the Detroit Lions signed Jared Goff to a four-year, $212 million deal, including $113 million fully guaranteed at signing, averaging $53 million per year. At the time, this annual average ranked second among quarterbacks. Fast forward to Thursday, the Jacksonville Jaguars awarded Trevor Lawrence a massive contract worth up to $275 million with $200 million in total guarantees and $142 million fully guaranteed. His $55 million average annual salary matches Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow’s, making them the highest-paid players in the NFL. Only Patrick Mahomes, with his unique 10-year deal, surpasses this total dollar amount.

Despite the significant investment, Lawrence’s on-field performance has been somewhat inconsistent. While his raw talent is undeniable, his results in years two and three have been mixed. In contrast, Goff has demonstrated remarkable consistency and leadership, resurrecting his career in Detroit and nearly leading the Lions to their first Super Bowl appearance last season.

Comparing Performance and Value

Through the first eight seasons of his NFL career, Goff ranks impressively across several key metrics. He is fourth in completions (2,657), fifth in passing yards (30,429), seventh in attempts (4,107), ninth in passer rating (93.6), and tied for 12th in passing touchdowns (185).

In the 2023 season, Goff’s leadership helped the Lions achieve historic milestones. The team became the first in NFL history with four different players posting 850 scrimmage yards and 10 touchdowns each. Additionally, the Lions totaled 4,000 net passing yards and 2,000 rushing yards in the same campaign for only the second time in franchise history. They also topped 25 passing touchdowns and 25 rushing touchdowns in the same season for the first time. This offensive success underscores Goff’s ability to elevate his team and maximize the talent around him.

Financially, Goff’s contract structure also provides the Lions with greater flexibility. With 53 percent ($113.6 million) of his contract fully guaranteed, compared to Lawrence’s 72 percent guaranteed, the Lions can better manage salary cap hits and maintain a competitive roster.

Moreover, Goff’s postseason success further underscores his value. He has five playoff wins, the most for any NFC quarterback since he entered the league, and one Super Bowl appearance with the Los Angeles Rams.

Looking Ahead: Future Quarterback Contracts

The landscape of quarterback contracts continues to evolve, with upcoming deals for Jordan Love, Tua Tagovailoa, and potentially another massive contract for Dak Prescott. Prescott, in particular, holds significant leverage as he heads into the final year of his contract with no-tag and no-trade clauses. He also is coming off an All-Pro (Second Team) season in which he finished second in MVP voting.   The Cowboys will have to meet his demands or risk losing him in a bidding war next offseason.

By locking in Goff at a competitive rate, the Lions have ensured stability at the quarterback position while maintaining the financial flexibility to build a strong, well-rounded team. As the NFL salary cap and new quarterback contracts continue to escalate, Goff’s deal will likely be viewed as a savvy investment, further highlighting Holmes’ adept management and vision for the Lions’ future.


For more from our Detroit Lions beat writer, Matt Broder, check him out on Twitter here: @mattbro21


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Original Photo Credit: © Kyle Terada – USA TODAY Sports