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Lions set at starting QB, but could create competition for the backup role

PHOENIX – Head coach Dan Campbell was emphatic Tuesday at the NFC coaches breakfast at the Annual League Meetings that the Detroit Lions have their quarterback in Jared Goff.

"Man, we got a quarterback," Campbell said in response to a question from a national reporter about Detroit possibly being interested in acquiring Lamar Jackson. "So, (laughs), I'm like, 'We got a quarterback, and thank God we got one.' And, so, we're good."

Goff is coming off a Pro Bowl season in which he threw for 4,438 yards with 29 touchdowns and just seven interceptions with a 99.3 passer rating. He didn't throw a pick in his last 324 passes to end the year, and he was at the helm of a top five offense in the NFL.

The Lions aren't looking for a new starter. Goff is their guy. That much was made clear this week, but creating competition at the backup job is certainly still on the table, even after re-signing Nate Sudfeld, who was Goff's backup last season, in free agency.

The team has been transparent with Goff about their process all offseason, according to general manager Brad Holmes.

"I communicated with Jared at the end of the season about, just like I told you guys at the combine about, yeah, we got Jared, but we didn't have anything else behind him so just letting him know that 'look, man, we got to get some more behind you,'" Holmes said Monday.

That certainly could include selecting a young, developmental quarterback in the draft.

"I think yeah, we are in a unique position with all the picks that we have to add maybe a pretty talented guy if we go that direction, but again, it doesn't have to be the first round, it doesn't have to be the second round, it can be at any point," Holmes said.

"But I just feel like we're in a good place right now but we just kind of keep the communication open just so, as you're saying, if Jared, we were to go that direction and add one that he's aware of exactly what we're doing."

Sudfeld has played in six career games in four seasons and has attempted just 37 career passes. Holmes said the team was in discussions with two other veteran quarterbacks in free agency that had more experience than Sudfeld but weren't able to sign either of them.

"We really liked Nate. We really did," Holmes said. "I'm well aware of the mystery behind Nate about the lack of game experience, but we did like Nate. We were looking at some other quarterbacks that had a little bit more game experience, but obviously it just didn't work out.

"It was whittled down to three guys, really, including Nate, so it was just only looking at really two guys that we were kind of just looking at. It didn't work out, and we let Nate know that as well, and his agent, about what our process was."

Holmes said if the Lions add another quarterback via the draft, they will compete with Sudfeld for the backup job.

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