One of those teammates was all-world defensive tackle Aaron Donald.
"I'm pretty sure everybody was shocked by it," Donald said during an appearance on the Dan Patrick Show. "But Stafford's a great quarterback. I'm excited about having him with the team, a veteran guy that knows the game, that's been playing the game at a high level for a long time. It was a business decision that the Rams organization chose to make. I will always love Goff, that's my brother forever, but I guess things didn't work out how they wanted to, so they made a change."
The change included, as Donald alluded to above, the acquisition of Matthew Stafford, a veteran quarterback with experience in multiple playoff games, but no postseason wins. Stafford spent his entire career in Detroit prior to last weekend's trade, and he'll have a chance to play in meaningful games right away with the Rams, who earned a wild-card berth and upset the Seahawks on Wild Card Weekend before falling to the Packers in the Divisional Round.
As for Goff, he heads from warm and sunny Los Angeles to the cold, gray winter of Detroit, where the Lions thankfully play in a dome but haven't seen the sun peek through the frosted glass windows of Ford Field in some time. The trade ended Goff's up-and-down run with the Rams, who made him the No. 1 overall pick in 2016 and reached a Super Bowl with Goff at the controls, but felt it was time to move on.
"I think there's a lot of things that were said. Once you're the starting QB, if things ain't going how it's supposed to go, you're going to be talked about a lot," Donald explained of Goff's final months in Los Angeles. "I will never say nothing bad about Goff, that's my brother. Always gonna keep in contact with him, always gonna talk.
"I wish nothing but the best for him in Detroit. We ain't gonna worry about the negativity that's talked about. He's got a bright future ahead of him, a fresh start and hopefully he'll do great things there."
While Goff prepares to take over the rebuilding Lions, Stafford departs a Lions franchise that had to have frustrated the quarterback in recent years with its largely directionless operation. Stafford reached the postseason under Jim Caldwell, then saw his coach fired after falling short of the playoffs, only to play for a new head coach in Matt Patricia who oversaw a club-wide regression.
Now, he'll enjoy a new football life in Southern California.
Competition will be key for Stafford, who will be expected to win immediately with the Rams. He'll have a strong supporting cast on both sides of the ball, with Donald being a prominent new teammate.