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Jared Goff praises Lions for rewarding their key players

It’s hard to build a good football team. At times, it isn’t.

Here’s a pretty solid rule of thumb: Pay your key players.

That’s apparently not as easy as it sounds. Plenty of teams draft or otherwise acquire a player who comes in and contributes at a high level. Then, when it’s time for the player to get paid, he has to go somewhere else.

Think of the messages sent to the locker room by those two possibilities. If the player gets paid, all other players know that, if they do what’s expected of them and if they achieve great results, they’ll be rewarded without having to relocate. Alternatively, if the team doesn’t invest in its proven talent but instead plays fantasy football with free agency, giving millions to strangers to the locker room, the players on the team will realize that, if they ever want to get paid, they’ll need to be ready to go.

During his Thursday press conference after signing a new contract in Detroit, quarterback Jared Goff praised the Lions for taking care of their own. They did it with Goff, they did it with tackle Penei Sewell, they did it with receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown.

“I think that is important,” Goff said. “I think the Lions, I think they recognize that upstairs and know that we have three players that were due for a new deal and took care of them. And I think that potential free agents see that, and potential draft picks in the future see that and they know that if you play well, you are taken care of.”

Again, it’s not difficult. For some teams, however, it seems to be.