Jared Goff had a bounce-back year in his second season with the Detroit Lions and nearly led the team to the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
Lions general manager Brad Holmes gave Goff a big vote of confidence when he spoke to reporters on Tuesday.
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“I think it's a lot easier to get worse at quarterback than to get better at quarterback in this league,” Holmes said, via NFL.com. “I think what Jared has done this year, he captained the ship of a top-three offense and I want to say he was top-10 statistically in most of the passing categories.
“And again, you know how we approach the draft, like, we're never going to turn down a good football player. So, if it's a football player we really love, I mean, we're going to make sure every stone is unturned, but I do think that Jared has proven (to) everybody that he is a starting quarterback for us.”
Goff’s cap number could be an issue for the Lions’ budget going into 2023. He’s expected to make about $30.6 million if he’s on Detroit’s roster next season, according to Spotrac. He has a potential out after the 2022 season is officially over. He has a $5 million roster bonus next season as well.
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With a 9-8 record, Detroit will have the No. 18 pick in the draft. The Lions could potentially lower the cap hit on Goff and select a quarterback in the first round. However, the Lions were 28th in points allowed and 32nd in yards allowed.
“I think it has a lot of merit and there's a lot of proof behind that,” Holmes added. “You can see countless examples of guys that got drafted high. Obviously, Patrick Mahomes comes up right off the bat of them trading up, taking him high and sitting. Then the guy that we just got done playing in Aaron Rodgers, you know. So there's a lot of proof in the pudding in taking that approach, and I don't see anything wrong with it.
“It's a premium position – they don't grow on trees – they're really hard to find. Just like I said earlier, it's easy to get worse at that position than to get better at that position because there's so few of them. But I'm not against at all that philosophy of draft one, let him sit and develop, and kind of just kind of see what you got down the road.”
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Goff had 4,438 passing yards and 29 touchdown passes in 2022. It was the second-most touchdown passes he’s had in his career. The Lions were fifth in points scored and fourth in yards gained in 2022.