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Rams expected to have open QB competition if Jared Goff isn't traded

Jared Goff's overall record as the Rams' quarterback is quite strong, but it's not keeping his job completely secure.

The writing has started to appear on the wall in bits and pieces in the last two weeks for Los Angeles, which might be headed toward a significant change under center. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported an open quarterback competition between Goff and backup John Wolford should be expected this summer if Los Angeles does not trade Goff before the Rams open camp.

As stunning as it might seem on its surface, this is a development that has apparently been building for some time. Wolford impressed in last summer's camp and in the limited game action he saw at the end of the season, bringing a different element of mobility and playmaking to Los Angeles' offense. The Rams staff and front office liked what they saw, per Rapoport, and they're ready to give him a legitimate chance to win the job.

We've written on Goff's standing with the team at least a few times since the Rams fell to the Packers in the Divisional Round, beginning with coach Sean McVay's lack of commitment to Goff and continuing with general manager Les Snead's comments on the matter, which were predictably vague but also open to significant change. Trading Goff would, in fact, be such a significant change.

Goff's contract is interesting because it's rather lucrative for a quarterback who's never reached the elite level most hope to see from a former No. 1 overall pick (insert the hindsight disclaimer anywhere within here). Goff is due $27.5 million in guaranteed salary in 2021 and carries a cap number just shy of $35 million, accounting for over 19 percent of the Rams' total cap space, per Over The Cap. That type of deal isn't typical of a player a team is clearly and actively trying to move.

Los Angeles would save $12.75 million of that cap number by trading him anytime between now and June 1, but would still have to carry the other $22.2 million in dead cap. A post-June 1 deal would create even greater savings ($28.15 million), but would come at the end of the ideal deal-making window, more than a month after the draft and roughly six weeks from the start of training camps. At that point, the Rams are shedding salary more than anything, and finding a trade partner would likely prove to be a fool's errand.

Plan B appears to be the most likely outcome, then, setting up for a summer showdown between Goff and the former Alliance of American Football standout Wolford. It's still months away, but you can prime your eyes and ears for the headlines and coverage now.

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