Over the last year or two, I have speculated about the future of Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff.  Even as recently as this past spring.

I even said earlier this season on "Nachos and Kneecaps" that I would re-sign wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown before I would sign Jared Goff.

But I've changed my mind on both, for one simple reason...

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Jared Goff (pictured above) is playing at an All-Pro level and playing the best football of his career at age 29 (he just turned 29 this past Saturday).  Therefore...

READ MORE:  Should The Lions Extend Jared Goff?

NOW is the time to give the Lions QB the contract extension he now deserves.

Here's why...

I JUST SAID IT IN THE LAST PARAGRAPH

Goff is playing the best football of his career in 2023.  He's thrown for 1,618 yards, 11 touchdowns and only three interceptions in six games so far.  He's completing 68.5 % of his passes with a QB rating of 105.1.  All outstanding numbers.  He is no longer a stopgap from Matthew Stafford and the next guy drafted highly in the first round.  He is their starting QB for the near future (5-7 years).

THE TEAM IS WINNING DESPITE MASSIVE INJURIES

Jared is leading the Lions to a 5-1 record (tied for best in the NFL) and the NFC North lead as we get closer to the halfway point of the year.  This despite losing running backs David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs for significant periods of time, as well as offensive line injuries galore.  I won't even get into the defensive injuries.

HE'S 29 AND HAS ONE YEAR LEFT ON HIS DEAL

The former Cal-Berkeley star is signed through 2024.  He's set to make $21.6 million in base salary next year and count $31.6 million on the cap next year.  He has clearly shown through his play that he deserves more than that.  And he's only 29, not 35.  You can give him a 5-7 year extension and not worry too much about slippage in his play until late in the extension (barring injuries, of course).

IF YOU RE-SIGN HIM NOW, YOU'LL SAVE MONEY ON FUTURE CAPS

I don't mean re-sign him today.  I'm talking about during the bye week in early November (after the Raiders game on October 30th).  Let's say he keeps playing great and leads the Lions at least to the NFC Championship.  His salary demands will go up from what is now.  If you re-sign him during the bye week, you could save money as opposed to waiting until after the season to do it.  He could then command elite dollars (more than Mahomes, Allen, Burrow, et al.).  Remember, you also must re-sign Amon-Ra St. Brown (signed through 2024), Penei Sewell (signed through 2024 with team option for 2025), and others in the next year or so to keep the team competitive.

WHEN YOU ENTER NEGOTIATIONS, START AT $45 MILLION PER SEASON

$45 million per season is the bare minimum that you start negotiations with.  With NFL QB's getting more that $50 million a year now, this is the baseline to pay Jared Goff.  He might be willing to take a hometown discount, but not a major one.  With the salary cap continuing to rise, if you sign him to a deal worth $50 million a season.  That would only be about 20% of the cap going forward.  That is manageable, considering other deals that are coming up soon (as mentioned above).

NFL agents and players understand the NFL's salary cap just as much as league owners and executives do.  And it doesn't seem that Goff (and his agent(s)) have an adversarial relationship with Brad Holmes and Sheila Ford Hamp.  This seems that it can be worked out without any real problems.

HE DESERVES IT!!!

This is not the Jared Goff that had the "deer in the headlights" look that he had for long stretches with the Los Angeles Rams.  He has become a confident leader.  And while he isn't as sexy a name as Mahomes, Allen, Burrow, Hurts, and others.  You could argue he's just about as good as them.

And for all the physical torture that NFL players put themselves through, I have no problem with what NFL players make (unlike the overpaid, ungrateful, arrogant Major League Baseball players).  Jared Goff deserves to be paid accordingly.  Get it done Sheila Ford Hamp and Brad Holmes!!!

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