Back in January 2021, whispers emerged that the relationship between Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay and quarterback Jared Goff was “not great,” and Rams general manager Les Snead failed to commit to Goff as his future QB1 later that same month.
By the end of March 2021, Goff was a member of the Detroit Lions, and Matthew Stafford made the move from Detroit to Los Angeles.
McVay and Stafford emerged as big winners of that trade, as the pair went on to hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy this past February. However, McVay admitted on a recent edition of the “Open Mike podcast” with NFL insider Mike Silver he wishes he would’ve handled things with Goff differently.
“That was a hard thing for me because the thing that’s more important than anything is being a good communicator — clear, open, and honest. Making sure people aren’t caught off guard and really having respect for the players and the coaches for what And I wish that there had been better in-person communication,” McVay explained, per Myles Simmons of Pro Football Talk. “The one thing that hurt me is that I would never want anything to be misunderstood about my appreciation, my respect for Jared. Was it a tough decision? Yes. Were there some things that I could’ve handled better in terms of the clarity provided for him?
“If I had it over again, what I would do is, before I had even gone to Cabo, when there was a possibility of, alright, if Matthew Stafford’s available, if there’s other quarterbacks available, that would be something that we would explore — you sit down with him, you look him in the eye, you tell him that instead of calling him and setting up a meeting where that was my intention when I got back from Cabo.”
McVay seemed to add that his supposed deteriorating relationship with Goff had little, if anything, to do with landing Stafford from Detroit.
“But, I care about Jared,” McVay continued during his comments. “He sure as hell did a lot of good things. And I think the thing that shows what a stud, what a class act he really is, is one of the best text messages I got after the Super Bowl was from Jared Goff. And so, I think the further we get away, the more appreciation that we’ll have for the great four years that we did have together — because there were a lot of really good times. … But all in all, just the better communication, better clarity is what I would’ve wanted.
“And I didn’t like the outside narrative, but I think he knew where my heart was. And I was glad we were able to connect, sit down, be honest with each other, and I think we both have a lot of respect for each other. And I wish I’d handled it better as a leader for him.”
Back before Los Angeles’ Super Bowl LVI win over the Cincinnati Bengals, Goff remarked he was “happy” for his former teammates participating in that championship game.
“It’s something that you wish you could be a part of in your own right with the Lions, but we’re not right now — and watching them do it is just another part of the journey,” Goff said during Super Bowl week.