Several other teams pursued Matthew Stafford
The Rams got Matthew Stafford. Several other teams wanted him.
Peter King of NBC Sports reports that the Panthers were “very interested” in Stafford, and “competed for him.” Other teams, per King, who were interested in Stafford include the Broncos, Colts, and 49ers.
Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post reports that the Washington Football Team offered the Lions a package that was “better” for the Lions in 2021. Detroit receives only a 2021 third-round pick from the Rams this year, with first-rounders in 2022 and 2023.
It’s impossible to ask the question of whether one of the other teams interested in Stafford would have given up two first-round picks and a third-round pick for Stafford, because the Rams didn’t give up two first-round picks and a third-round pick for Stafford. The Rams gave up those picks in part to get the Lions to take on the contract of quarterback Jared Goff.
If the Lions had sent Stafford anywhere else, the Lions necessarily would have gotten less.
Of course, the Lions could have traded Stafford to another team while still buying the Goff contract in a separate transaction. The Rams presumably tied it all together in order to ensure that they emerged from the broader transaction with a quarterback.
What would it have been for just Stafford? A first-round pick and a third-round pick? That would mean the Rams gave up a first-round pick to unload Goff.
By putting it all in one bucket, it’s impossible to know what the Rams gave up to get rid of Goff. And that makes the Brock Osweiler-style hot potato nature of the Goff portion of the deal less conspicuous.