Sean McVay wishes ‘there had been better in-person communication’ during Jared Goff-Matthew Stafford trade

Last offseason, the Los Angeles Rams made one of the league’s biggest blockbusters by trading for former Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. That move sent the Rams on a trajectory that found them hoisting the Lombardi Trophy this past February following Super Bowl LVI, a game in which Stafford threw three touchdowns. Needless to say, that trade was a resounding success for LA, but there is a piece to that move that still bothers head coach Sean McVay.

As part of the deal, the Rams unloaded their former starter, Jared Goff. While appearing on the “Open Mike” podcast hosted by Mike Silver, McVay relayed that he has regrets about how he handled communicating with Goff during that process.

“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 they have to do. And I wish that there had been better in-person communication,” McVay said, as transcribed by 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 went on to admit that he didn’t anticipate trade talks between the Lions and Rams to ramp up as quickly as they did, which further led to things being fumbled in the communication with Goff.

“When it got public that we were interested in Matthew, what we thought was going to be a week’s worth of time ended up happening in about 24 to 36 hours,” he continued. “So all in all, the biggest thing I regret, [not] Being able to sit down, look him in the eye and be able to communicate kind of where we are, what we were going to try to do moving forward. And for that, I regret it, I’ll not make those same mistakes again.

“But, I care about Jared. 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.”

McVay added that he didn’t like the “outside narrative” that was being portrayed about Goff during the trade, but said he thinks Goff “knows where my heart was.” He also said that the two were able to eventually connect and believes they “both have a lot of respect for each other.”

Goff played under McVay for four seasons in Los Angeles and was 42-20 over that stretch in the regular season. He was also named to the Pro Bowl in the first two years of McVay’s tenure and was the team’s starter when it reached Super Bowl LIII, but ultimately fell to the New England Patriots. Last season, Goff started in 14 games for Detroit and notched a career-high 67.2 completion percentage while throwing for 3,245 yards, 19 touchdowns, and eight interceptions.

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