Michael Brockers was getting a new quarterback for his ready-to-win team, and he was rightfully excited in early March.
"Is it a level up?" Brockers replied when speaking with TMZ in a video published March 6. "In my heart, deeply, just understanding what (Stafford) brings, it's a level up."
In order to level up, one must have a level at which he or she begins. For Brockers, that level has been Goff since 2016.
Goff got the Rams to the Super Bowl. Goff also essentially got himself traded by a regime that no longer saw him as the centerpiece of its future, electing to instead go with an older quarterback with a higher rate of production and a greater chance of peak success when surrounded by a better team.
So things had to be quite awkward for Brockers when he found out he, too, was headed from the inviting warmth and sunshine of Southern California for the blue-collar boroughs of Detroit, where he'd resume his kinship with Goff, the quarterback he'd indirectly bashed a couple weeks earlier.
Brockers knew he had to mend fences, and do it quickly, choosing the "I was just trying to give PR some help" route with his message to his once-again teammate. Brockers told reporters he reached out to Goff twice to apologize for the sentiment expressed by his TMZ interview (which appeared to take place inside Los Angeles International Airport).
"I just wanted to come to him as a man and let him know that I have so much respect for him, that wasn't any shot against him -- just trying to pump up the Rams' (fan) base," Brockers explained Monday, via The Athletic's Chris Burke.
Rams fans likely knew what Brockers also understood: The acquisition of Stafford signaled a shift toward doing everything in their power to win now, and for the next three to five years. There was no more waiting for Goff to take the next few steps toward elite status; they now had a quarterback capable of doing it immediately.
Brockers, though, likely didn't anticipate he'd be following a path similar to Goff. He'd had every right to be excited about the Rams' fortunes, especially considering he'd spent the duration of his career with the franchise until last week.
Now, he's off to Detroit, where the 30-year-old will attempt to turn the Lions into a winner, and he'll hope Goff doesn't harbor any hard feelings. Goff was asked about the matter Monday during an appearance on 97.1 The Ticket, and it sounds as if everything is fine.
"Brock is one of my good friends and a good teammate, and I get it," Goff said, via MLive's Kyle Meinke. "He apologized very quickly. ... I love Brock. Sometimes it happens, but that guy is my guy. I love Brock and he reached out to me very quickly after that and no ill will. We're all good."
If anything, Brockers can be glad his production doesn't depend on Goff's choices with the ball in hand -- and he can hope those choices produce plenty of points for their new team.