Detroit Lions' Jared Goff worth $50 million a year on new deal? 'What's the alternative?' (2024)

Dave BirkettDetroit Free Press

Jared Goff is in line for a hefty raise this offseason, and for those who would rather see the Detroit Lions spend their money elsewhere, CBS analyst Boomer Esiason has one simple question.

“What’s the alternative?” Esiason told the Free Press at Super Bowl LVIII last week. “I mean, Daniel Jones makes $41 million a year. He got a two-year contract for $82 million guaranteed, so that’s where we’re starting. And here’s a guy, they should have won the game against San Francisco.”

Goff is scheduled to make $27.9 million next season, including a $5 million roster bonus due next month, in the final year of an extension he signed with the Los Angeles Rams in 2019.

He said in January he hoped to sign a long-term deal to stay in Detroit, though he insisted whether that happens or not is “kind of out of my hands in some ways.”

After a slow start to his time with the Lions, Goff has outplayed his current contract, which ranks 16th among quarterbacks in terms of average annual value, according to

Esiason suggested Goff could land a four-year, $200 million extension this offseason, which would tie him to the Lions through 2028 — his age-34 season — and put him just below the top tier of quarterback salaries in the NFL.

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Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert, Lamar Jackson and Jalen Hurts are the only quarterbacks on deals that currently average more than $50 million per season, and Patrick Mahomes restructured part of his contract last fall to guarantee him $210 million over the next four seasons.

Burrow ($55 million), Herbert ($52.5 million), Jackson ($52 million) and Hurts ($51 million) signed their extensions in the last 12 months. Burrow and Hurts have led their current teams to Super Bowl appearances, Jackson is a two-time MVP, Herbert is considered one of the best young quarterbacks in the game at 25 years old, and Mahomes, a three-time Super Bowl winner, is the standard by which all quarterbacks are judged.

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Six more quarterbacks average at least $40 million per season, including Jones, Russell Wilson, and Deshaun Watson. Wilson is a potential cut candidate this spring, while Jones and Watson made 12 combined starts in 2023 because of injuries.

Goff finished second in the NFL in passing yards this season and led the Lions to the NFC championship game, where they lost to the San Francisco 49ers, 34-31, to just miss out on making the Super Bowl.

“Jared Goff has basically proven himself to be the worthy leader of the Detroit Lions,” Esiason said. “And so, I know he’s got one year left on his contract, could they give him a four-year, $200 million extension? Something like that would be fair and would be going rate. I know that may not excite a lot of people because Jared’s not a flashy guy, but he’s still a very effective quarterback.”

Andrew Whitworth, a former teammate of Goff’s with the Rams who now serves as an analyst for Amazon, said he views Goff as an ascending player given the strides he’s made in his three seasons in Detroit.

After going 3-10-1 as a starter in 2021, Goff led the Lions to records of 9-8 and 12-5 the past two years.

“I look at his poise,” Whitworth told the Free Press. “You look at some of the games in L.A. when we started to struggle a little bit, like teams giving us something different, finding different ways to stop us and him not maybe finding that way to just go win that game for his team. He did that multiple times in Detroit where they found a way to go win a game when everything’s not perfect, everything’s not on all cylinders, like, ‘Hey, go drive us down the field, let’s find a way to win.’ Seeing him have some of those moments and show that, ‘You know what? That’s who I’m going to be as my career goes on,’ as well is really great to see.”

Goff is one of a handful of quarterbacks in line for big money this offseason. Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, who is coming off a torn Achilles tendon, will be one of the top players on the market when free agency opens next month and is reportedly seeking a two-year, $90 million deal, and Dak Prescott and Trevor Lawrence are among other QBs who could land mega extensions before the season.

While there’s inherent risk that comes with any new contract for a team, Whitworth said Goff has solidified himself as a building block for the Lions.

“I think it’s just a great example of no one can put a ceiling or a limit on your career,” Whitworth said. “I think people thought when he was traded that maybe that was as high as he was going to get and the rest of his career would look pretty similar, and I think he’s grown so much in how he plays the position, how he leads, who he is as a man, for the entire team and community that’s rallied around him. I couldn’t be more happy for him.”

Contact Dave Birkett Follow him on Twitter@davebirkett.

Detroit Lions' Jared Goff worth $50 million a year on new deal? 'What's the alternative?' (2024)
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