The 49ers saw what likely was their best chance to upgrade at quarterback evaporate Saturday night when the Los Angeles Rams traded Jared Goff, two first-round picks and a third-round pick to the Detroit Lions for Matthew Stafford.
Once Stafford became available two weeks ago, many had the 49ers pegged as a likely destination for the 32-year-old gunslinger. But while the 49ers reportedly were interested in bringing Stafford to the Bay Area, San Francisco never made an official offer, according to Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer.
According to Breer, the Lions and 49ers discussed a deal for Stafford at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., but the Rams and other suitors -- Carolina Panthers, Washington Football Team and Indianapolis Colts -- had driven the price out of the 49ers' liking. The 49ers, according to Breer, didn't want to get involved in the high-priced bidding because they are comfortable going forward with Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback.
For what it's worth, the 49ers were No. 2 on Stafford's desired landing spots behind the Rams and in front of the Colts, according to Breer.
The Rams' initial offer, according to Breer, was Goff, a first-round pick and an additional pick. Once it was reported that the Rams were involved in the Stafford sweepstakes, the bidding escalated, knocking teams like the 49ers, Denver Broncos, Chicago Bears and New England Patriots out of the mix.
According to Breer, the Football Team offered the No. 19 overall pick and an additional pick, while the Panthers offered up the No. 8 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. The Colts, who are in need of a quarterback after Philip Rivers' retirement, didn't offer their 2021 first-round pick, per Breer.
Los Angeles, fresh off a divisional-round exit, is going all-in to win a Super Bowl with its current core. The Rams have an elite defense, talented playmakers on offense and an innovative offensive head coach in McVay. Placing Stafford, who still is one of the top signal-callers in the NFL, into one of the most QB-friendly systems in football should only elevate his play and make the Rams one of the NFC favorites in 2021.
Yes, the Rams gave up a lot to get Stafford. But if the Rams win a Super Bowl with Stafford it will be deemed a success. And if they don't, general manager Les Snead won't be the one tasked with overseeing a rebuild.
Championship windows can close in the blink of an eye. The Rams did the smart thing in acquiring a top-level quarterback to give themselves the best chance at winning a title.