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John Clayton: Goff vs Keenum is NFL's Top QB Battle

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes I'm underwhelmed by the coverage of today's NFL. In my opinion, there's too much speculation and entirely too much weight put on social media - particularly with ESPN. With Adam Schefter, Mel Kiper Jr., and Todd McShay becoming mainstays... the less flashy writers have sadly taken a back seat

I'm not a journalist. I don't have the education nor the experience to claim as much. But there are certain individuals that I have a certain admiration for. From the Rams time in St. Louis, I grew to appreciate Bernie Miklasz. I have a similar affection for John Clayton.

So when I saw this piece from Clayton over at, my interest was immediately piqued.

Case Keenum is the projected starter. Nick Foles, who received a $6 million roster bonus earlier this year, is still on the roster, but the Rams might not keep him around much longer. No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff is the future and could be the present. Goff versus Keenum should be the most interesting battle to follow this spring and summer.


Jared Goff's transition from an Air Raid offense into a pro-style, run-first offense with the Rams should be fun to watch. Case Keenum, who is on a one-year deal, is theoretically the bridge quarterback until Goff is ready. Los Angeles is shopping Foles in trade talks. The team that trades for Foles would get him with only a $1.75 million salary, a pretty good bargain. But if Foles stays and has a good training camp, the Rams' battle will be even more fascinating to watch.

Coach Jeff Fisher isn't one to rush a rookie quarterback. He has one of the best young running backs in football, Todd Gurley, to take the pressure off. The Rams plan to run. It's up to Goff to catch up quickly, learn the offense and see whether he can win the job. What adds to the entertainment is the Rams being on HBO's "Hard Knocks" during the preseason. This battle will play out on the field and on television screens.

Advantage: Keenum gets the first chance but Goff is likely in charge no later than October.

What I love about this article is that it's extremely factual. That speaks to me as an IT guy. I don't want speculation. I want straight facts. Clayton does that here and paints a picture of the Rams QB situation. We all knew that the Rams QB situation was a mess, but Clayton goes out of his way to explain WHY it is a mess.

Clayton's biggest projection is that Goff will be starting "no later than October". That Looking at the October schedule, the Rams have games @ARI, vs BUF, @DET, and vs NYG (in London). I don't see Jeff Fisher making Goff debut in a road game against Arizona. And you better believe that Kroenke wants Goff at the helm by the time the Rams hit London.

If Clayton is accurate, the best bet for an October debut would be Week 5 at home against a Bills team that had one of the worst pass rushes in the NFL in 2015. Regardless of what they put out to the media, Snisher has a history of being flaky with Rams QBs. While I think that Clayton is taking the smart route with Goff, I don't trust Snisher to do the same.

This is definitely a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation. Do the Rams risk the long term viability of Goff by throwing him into the fire? Or do you sit him and risk having the NFL's return to LA being plagued by a QB controversy?