HomeFootball DirtThe Spotlight Shines on Jared Goff and Baker Mayfield's Redemption Journeys

The Spotlight Shines on Jared Goff and Baker Mayfield’s Redemption Journeys

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Once upon a time, Baker Mayfield was a No. 1 overall pick. He was supposed to lead the Cleveland Browns to unmitigated glory. He lasted just four seasons in their uniform. Also, once upon a time, Jared Goff was a No. 1 overall. He was supposed to lead the Los Angeles Rams to tremendous success. He played just five years in L.A. (only four for Sean McVay).

Now, with Mayfield a catalyst of the rising Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Goff driving the Detroit Lions’ powerhouse, we get to see both square off for a spot in the NFC title game as mutual redemption stories.

How could you not be romantic about pro football?

The Browns didn’t want Mayfield. They blamed their rotten-to-the-core organizational issues on a quarterback they specifically failed to develop. Now he’s two steps away from a Super Bowl appearance. Similarly, the Rams didn’t think Goff was good enough to take them to a championship. When the opportunity presented itself, they traded him for Matthew Stafford without hesitation. Then he beat Stafford in a playoff game. Go figure.

It’s impossible to predict who will win next Sunday’s Divisional Round matchup in Detroit at this very moment. These playoffs have been anything but predictable. But with a spot in the NFL’s final four on the line, seeing Goff vs. Mayfield — two reclamation projects as former No. 1 picks — is one perfect example.

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