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Sean McVay’s glowing assessment could drive up Jared Goff’s price tag

There’s a misconception in some circles regarding my opinion regarding the future of Jared Goff in L.A. Some think I’ve said that the Rams are destined to dump him for another quarterback. The truth is significantly more nuanced than that.

And the nuances regarding Goff’s future with the team are becoming more complex, as the team goes out of its way to shoot down the notion that Goff may not be the long-term answer.

Beyond comments made by McVay earlier this week to reporters, he sat down with Fred Roggin of NBC’s L.A. affiliate, and responded to this remark which, if I’m the pundit to whom Roggin is referring, misstates the theory: “I don’t know how often you check online and care what the pundits say. One suggested that, you know, the thing about Jared Goff is there will be a point in time when you’re just going to get rid of him because you’re gonna bring somebody in here who’s younger who will be your kind of guy. Now to me I thought that was insane . . . because you’ve developed him into one of the top quarterbacks in the game.”

The point isn’t that McVay will simply cut the cord on Goff and find someone else. The point is that, as the top of the quarterback market continues to climb and climb and climb (in less than two years, it’s gone from $25 million per year to $35 million per year), someone eventually will say “no” to the demands of a quarterback who values himself more than the team values him. And until Goff signs a long-term deal, he could be the guy who demands too much, prompting the team to choose to spend less for someone whom Sean McVay can develop into “one of the top quarterbacks in the game,” the same way he has developed Goff.

McVay’s effort to boost Goff in the face of Roggin’s misstated (if he’s talking about my theory) notion that the Rams will just summarily drop Goff actually could contribute to an eventual scenario where Goff does indeed ask for more than the Rams will pay, because McVay’s praise of Goff will do little to dissuade agent Ryan Tollner from trying to make Goff the highest-paid player in NFL history whenever the Rams decide to open talks with Goff.

“He’s developed himself into [one of the top quarterbacks in the game],” McVay said, “and you know we’ve been able to work very well together over the last couple years. I can assure you, that is not going to happen. He ain’t going anywhere. And he’s just continuing to get better. He’s coachable. He’s a young guy that’s just continuing to grow. But the talent, the makeup that he has. I think one of the best traits is mental toughness.

“I mean, clearly, he’s the No. 1 overall pick for a reason. He’s got elite ability to throw the football from different platforms. He can make all the throws. But I think what really is special about him is the way that he’s wired mentally. He’s got an elite mental toughness. An extreme security in himself that doesn’t ride the wave of the inevitable ups and downs that you face as a quarterback. And I think he’s so authentic and genuine. His players love him. You look at the way that his Cal teammates, how excited they were when he was the No. 1 overall pick. You look at the way that his teammates respond to him here. And he’s just getting better and better. I mean, this offseason he’s continued to take steps, truly becoming an extension of the coaching staff. And a huge part of our success as a team the last couple years is due to his leadership and we’re so thankful to have him and I agree, Fred, it’s insane to think that he’s going anywhere. He’s stuck with me as long as I have say.”

McVay maybe genuinely believe all of that. (Chris Simms doesn’t; he’s put Goff at No. 19 on the list of current NFL quarterbacks.) McVay also may be simply pumping up his guy, mindful of the reality that, in order to get the most out of a quarterback, the coach must zealously defend and promote him to anyone and everyone.

Regardless, Tollner will print Goff’s assessment and laminate it for use in the negotiations with Rams COO Kevin Demoff, who will have to deal with McVay’s words when trying to peg a value for Goff’s contract.

So the point I previously made still applies. There’s a chance that Goff will want more than the Rams will pay, and that the Rams will decide to pay another available veteran as much or less or to pay a rookie much, much, much less, thanks to the rookie wage scale. That won’t be known until Goff formulates what he wants. However, McVay’s words won’t make Goff want less, that’s for sure.