More details emerge on Lions' Jared Goff's lucrative contract extension

more details emerge on lions' jared goff's lucrative contract extension

Lions quarterback Jared Goff.

Jared Goff‘s Lions extension both reflects his surge in value since being the throw-in piece in the Matthew Stafford trade while also illustrating where the quarterback market has gone since the 2016 No. 1 pick’s Rams extension surfaced.

The Lions’ Monday extension made Goff the NFL’s second-highest-paid player — behind only Joe Burrow — and his new $53M AAV is almost $20M north of where that number stood when Goff received his Rams payday in September 2019. The Rams gave Goff a $33.5M-per-year deal that became valuable, as QB deals skyrocketed, over the first three years of his Lions stay. With Goff’s previous contract expiring after the 2024 season, the Lions followed up record-setting extensions for Amon-Ra St. Brown and Penei Sewell by checking off their top offseason priority.

When Goff agreed to terms with the Rams, the $33.5M AAV number made him the NFL’s second-highest-paid passer (behind Russell Wilson‘s third Seahawks contract). This Lions deal does not feature guarantees that rival Deshaun Watson or even the likes of Burrow, Justin Herbert or Lamar Jackson. But the Lions are committing to Goff for the foreseeable future; his contract displays the team’s confidence.

Guarantees in Goff’s four-year, $212M extension stretch to 2027, with Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio reporting the contract includes $113.6M guaranteed at signing. The actual guarantee number will probably check in much higher, as practical guarantees check in at $148.6M. A rolling guarantee structure akin to what the Chiefs used with Patrick Mahomes is present in this deal.

After two fully guaranteed years (2024-25), the Lions guaranteed $20M of Goff’s $55M 2026 base salary. The other $35M of that salary will become fully guaranteed in 2025, Florio notes. This structure reappears in 2026, to a degree. Goff’s $50M 2027 base salary features $22M guaranteed for injury at signing, Florio adds. Of that $22M, $18M shifts from an injury guarantee to a full guarantee a year early. The other $4M becomes guaranteed in 2027. Goff’s 2028 base salary ($39M) is nonguaranteed; a $7M roster bonus will be due ahead of Goff’s age-34 season.

Much of Goff’s guarantee will come via a $73M signing bonus, according to SI.com’s Albert Breer. That figure prorating through 2028 will increase the dead money Detroit would incur by bailing on this deal early. In terms of full guarantees, Goff’s deal ranks fifth — behind Watson, Burrow, Jackson and Herbert — but the guarantee structure will assuredly see the former top pick tied to this contract through at least 2026. Among QBs who signed only a four-year deal, no one has done better in terms of guarantees. The players above Goff in terms of total guarantees each signed five- or six-year extensions.

The 2027 vesting date will become key if the Lions have second thoughts about a player whose value had plummeted in his final Rams years. The Rams sent the Lions an extra first-round pickso they would absorb Goff’s previous contract. As Detroit brass insisted Goff — whom Lions GM Brad Holmes helped draft when he was the Rams’ college scouting director — was not a bridge QB, the team passed on adding a passer early in the 2021 and ’22 drafts. This extension effectively ensures 2023 third-rounder Hendon Hooker, whose rookie deal runs through 2026, will not have a viable path to a starting job in Michigan.

Despite Goff’s struggles between Super Bowl LIII through a 3-13-1 2021 Lions season, the NFC North franchise will trust the form the resurgent QB has shown in his late 20s under OC Ben Johnson will continue if/when the promising play-caller departs for a head coaching job. For now, Goff and Johnson will continue to work together — and the QB will do so armed with a much better contract.

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