The Cheap Quarterback Movement
Coming into the season, the Los Angeles Rams were a team that was on the cusp of being a contender, but needed a couple more pieces to put themselves on the edge. One of the things the Rams didn’t need was a franchise quarterback, as they had drafted Jared Goff in 2016.
After a breakout sophomore campaign, Goff’s cap number of roughly $7.6 million according to Over The Cap was a bargain compared to a certain team that paid $24 million for its quarterback last offseason. With such a small piece of the pie tied to its quarterback, it allowed the Rams to be aggressive in the offseason, taking on Marcus Peters and Brandin Cooks in trades and signing Ndamukong Suh in free agency. The Rams also signed Cooks to a five-year, $81 million deal once he arrived in Los Angeles.
With a loaded roster around Goff, the Rams took off and became one of the top teams in the NFC. Despite what you may think about the controversial call that got the Rams to the Super Bowl, you can’t deny the fact that general manager Les Snead used Goff’s cheap number to his advantage to get the Rams over the hump.
A similar situation played out in Chicago when quarterback Mitchell Trubisky entered his second season. With a cap number of just $6.5 million, the Bears were able to enhance his surroundings by signing Allen Robinson to a three-year, $42 million contract, retaining Kyle Fuller by matching a four-year, $56 million offer from the Green Bay Packers and trading for Khalil Mack and signing him to a monster six-year, $141 million deal.
The result for the Bears was a much-improved product under first-year head coach Matt Nagy and their first NFC North championship since 2010.
The rapid improvement for the Bears and Rams under young quarterbacks is something that other teams will keep an eye on and teams such as Houston (Deshaun Watson), Kansas City (Patrick Mahomes) and the New York Jets (Sam Darnold) may put that strategy into action before they have to pay their star quarterbacks.