January 28, 2021
NFL Rumors: Rams Reportedly Could Have 'Open Quarterback Competition' If Jared Goff Isn't Traded

Although Jared Goff has been the Los Angeles Rams' No. 1 quarterback for most of his five-year stint with the team, it appears that he might have to compete against second-stringer John Wolford if neither man gets traded ahead of the 2021 NFL season.

As seen in a video shared Wednesday night on Twitter, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network explained that Goff has enjoyed lots of success as the Rams' starter behind center, leading the club to 45 regular-season and playoff wins over the last four seasons. That puts him second in the league behind the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Tom Brady over the same time period. However, Rapoport also pointed out how Wolford's mobility added a new dimension to the Rams' offense during his brief time filling in for the then-injured Goff in Week 17 of the 2020 season.

Given how Wolford impressed Rams management as a fill-in starter and also made a good impression during last year's training camp, Rapoport speculated that he might have a chance of winning the full-time starting job from the higher-profile, more accomplished Goff.

"If Jared Goff is not traded, if he remains on the team in 2021, expect an open quarterback competition in training camp."
A two-time Pro Bowler who was selected first overall in the 2016 NFL Draft, Goff posted decent numbers in 2020, finishing with 3,952 passing yards, 20 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, and a 90.0 QB rating, per Pro Football Reference. He did, however, slow down considerably past the midway point of the regular season, and his 2019 and 2020 numbers pale in comparison to the ones he posted when he made the Pro Bowl in 2017 and 2018.

Meanwhile, Wolford led the Rams to an 18-7 victory over the Arizona Cardinals in his Week 17 start, tallying 231 passing yards and one interception. As noted by Bleacher Report, the 25-year-old Wake Forest product briefly played during the wild-card round but was quickly replaced by Goff -- who went on to lead Los Angeles to a win over the Seattle Seahawks -- after he went down with a neck injury.

As further cited by Bleacher Report, Rams general manager Les Snead has remained noncommittal regarding the possibility of Goff retaining his starting job in 2021, stressing that it's still "way too early to speculate." However, the outlet opined that Wolford, despite his scrambling ability, might not be the ideal replacement for Goff, considering how he's an undrafted free agent who "did not flash many impressive passes" in the limited exposure he has gotten so far. As such, Los Angeles' best option might be to look for a more proven veteran if they decide to change quarterbacks.