Friday, May 24, 2024

Why now for the Jared Goff deal?

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In many respects, the NFL is a deadline-driven deal. Sometimes, the deadlines are real. Sometimes they’re contrived.

For the Lions and quarterback Jared Goff, there was no obvious deadline for getting a new deal done. Goff was under contract through 2024. There was nothing in that deal that forced action. There was no external factor regarding cap space or anything else beyond Goff.

There was one thing that might have forced the negotiations to a head. For the Lions, OTAs start next Tuesday. The two sides could have agreed to get it done before the start of OTAs.

Taking it a level deeper, it’s possible Goff’s representatives suggested that Goff might stay away from OTAs without his deal. For a player under contract, that’s the best leverage that can be exercised without incurring fines. And it’s hard for a team to have meaningful OTAs without the starting quarterback.

The Lions had hoped to get the Goff deal done before the draft, when extensions were signed by tackle Penei Sewell and receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown. The two sides didn’t reach a consensus.

It was time to do it, with OTAs looming. While there’s no reason to think Goff would have bailed on the voluntary practices, suggesting he might not be there could have been the last piece to get the two sides to bridge the divide that kept the deal from getting done earlier.

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