The honeymoon phase of Sean McVay and Jared Goff's relationship is long past. The Los Angeles Rams' head coach did all he could to elevate his middling quarterback's career. If nothing else, he helped Goff cash in on an undeserved contract extension that at one point made him the highest-paid player in NFL history in terms of guaranteed money.
That's history now. The future seems bleak. NFL Network insider Steve Wyche reported Monday that the relationship between McVay and Goff is, "not great" and added, "they need marriage counseling" this offseason. Regardless of how that turns out, they're not getting divorced until 2022 at the earliest.
"The people I've spoken to said basically at this moment the relationship with Goff and McVay: not great. They need marriage counseling is what one person said to me. I think this is something that they're going to be able to work through, but there's got to be some healing and that's not just with Jared Goff's injured thumb."- Steve Wyche
Goff signed a four-year, $134 million contract with $110 million guaranteed in September 2019. The earliest the Rams can get out of that contract without suffering a massive cap hit is after the 2022 season, when cutting Goff would only cost $8.6 million in dead cap space. In 2021, the dead cap hit is an astounding $65.5 million. If they do move on in 2022, it'll still be a $30.9 million dead cap hit.
It's no surprise to hear McVay isn't satisfied with his signal-caller. Goff has regressed since his career-best season in 2018. He's only thrown for 42 touchdowns against 29 interceptions the last two seasons after throwing for 60 touchdowns and 19 interceptions the previous two years. He had seven games with a passer rating of more than 100 this year but offset that with five games with a rating of less than 80. That's all to say he's inconsistent and undependable. For a team with a championship-caliber defense, that's not what you want at the quarterback position. Bears fans can relate.
Wyche mentioned the Rams could bring in a veteran to compete with Goff for the starting job this offseason. Perhaps that veteran even wins the battle and the Rams have a new starter under center in 2021, but Goff isn't going anywhere. His contract and play make him untradeable and uncuttable.
Likewise, McVay is in LA to stay, unless he leaves by personal choice, after proving to be arguably the most innovative young coach in the league the last three seasons. So that means these two former lovebirds need to find a way to make it work. Even if Goff isn't McVay's No. 1 anymore, they'll remain attached for the next two years and it behoves both to find an amicable path forward for them and the team.