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Lions QB Jared Goff: 'Security,' no-trade clause were factors in new contract extension

Jared Goff's NFL journey has climbed high peaks and dipped in low valleys. The late upswing resulted in a $212 million, four-year extension with the Detroit Lions.

It's not the first big-money deal the former No. 1 overall pick has signed in his eight-year career. He inked an extension with the Los Angeles Rams in 2019 which set the quarterback market. Two seasons later, the Rams wanted out of the deal and shipped him to Detroit as an afterthought in the Matthew Stafford trade.

After that experience, Goff said Thursday that his main priority in the new deal was security, which included a no-trade clause that allows him to control his future.

"It was mostly security. I think you can go back and forth on the numbers and whatnot, and that wasn't really the thing that was ever something I was extremely conferenced with," Goff told reporters. "It was the security and the no-trade clause and all that stuff, knowing that all that was in there. Feeling secure and then knowing that I can now put that behind me and be excited about what's to come."

After taking the Rams to a Super Bowl, Goff saw his relationship with Sean McVay sour, and L.A. traded the QB. Since moving to Detroit in 2021, Goff has experienced a three-win first season, a Pro Bowl campaign in 2022, and helped the Lions win their first division title in more than 30 years in 2023. For Goff, the contract is the culmination of digging himself out of the low points of his career.

"The reward of the contract and the success that we've been able to have, but the journey itself these past three years has been the true success and the true meaning of success, I guess," he said. "Obviously, the wins and whatnot and getting the contract are amazing but being able to go through that together with my teammates and with my family, go through the dark times and grow through those times and learn more about yourself and work on yourself -- that's the win in all of this."

When Detroit traded for Goff, the outside world viewed him as a toss-in, a weighted contract that allowed the Lions to leverage another first-round pick from the Rams. However, Lions general manager Brad Holmes denied that assertion from the start, saying he wanted Goff as the club's franchise quarterback. The Lions highlighted, underlined and bolded that claim with $170 million guaranteed in the new deal.

Players aren't paid for their past accomplishments. They're given large sums for future production. Goff didn't get the bag for getting the Lions to an NFC Championship Game. He's sleeping in bales of cash because the club believes he can get them over the hump.

Goff's $53 million-per-year extension came with plenty of dropped jaws and claims the Lions are overpaying for a "system" quarterback. The 29-year-old will use those claims to motivate his future.

"I think I play my best when I'm being doubted," Goff said. "So, like, continue to find -- maybe fabricated ways you're being doubted, if you're not -- that's part of the answer and also the internal motivation to want to win for this city and for my teammates and for our coaches. This city means so much to me now and it'll hold a special place in my heart forever that there isn't any external (or) as much external motivators as there is internal of, I just want to win for them.

"I want to win for these fans and I want them to be able to experience the success that we've had for the past year and a half or whatever it is and just continue to do that."

Detroit has rallied around Goff, often chanting his name in large settings -- like last season's playoff game versus Stafford's Rams, a random Red Wings tilt, or before the 2024 NFL Draft. The quarterback wants eventually to repay the loyalty he never fully found in L.A. with a Lombardi.

"All that's awesome and great, but if we don't go and achieve our ultimate goal with all the things that we've done to set ourselves up that, it's not what we want," he said of having continuity in Detroit. "So, the ultimate success is winning the Super Bowl. Myself, Penei (Sewell), (Taylor) Decker, Frank (Ragnow), all these guys, that's all we're looking at -- winning a Super Bowl and bringing it to the city."

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