It is a good day to be Matthew Stafford. A very, very good day. Because last night the Detroit Lions official twitter account announced: We have agreed to terms with QB Matthew Stafford on a five-year contract extension through the 2022 season.
And if you’re Matthew Stafford, it would be pretty hard not to want to retweet, quote tweet, and like that tweet all night.
According to reports, the deal is worth a guaranteed 92 million, with a 50 million dollar signing bonus. With everything added in, the deal would average a reported 27 mill per year, which passes Derek Carr as the highest paid player in football.
And of course, as soon as reports like that trickle out, there’s a discussion to be had about the contract and about Stafford as a quarterback. But here’s what we’re not going to do here. We’re not going to make jokes about the city of Detroit, so that means I’m not looking to hear from Geno saying that Stafford is the only person in Detroit who doesn’t have to put his clothes on layaway.
And I’m not looking to hear from anyone who wants to gloss him Fat Stafford. He’s an NFL quarterback. I’m willing to bet that he’s in better shape than you are. He’s got a fat wallet, not a fat face. No team is throwing down that kind of dough for a doughy QB. You don’t want the face of your franchise to have a soft chin. If you can’t have a responsible conversation about this, we’re not going to have a conversation about this.
The real question is: is he worth it? And the answer is yes. Hell yes. It’s always yes. You’re worth whatever someone will pay you. And if the Lions will pay him 27 mill per year, he’s worth it. You have to overpay for a quarterback. That’s how it works. Because as painful as it might be to pay a big-time quarterback, it’s even more painful not to have a big-time quarterback. Just ask Jacksonville or Buffalo. You think they’d like to trade places with the Lions?
And yes, 27 mill might seem like a big number for a guy who’s still seeking his first playoff win, but do you remember what the Lions were like before him? Do you remember the guys like Charlie Batch, Jon Kitna, and Thunder Dan Orlovsky? Do you remember 0-16? I know I do. Like it was yesterday. It’s not like Stafford came into a great situation and has just maintained. He came into a terrible situation and has led them to the playoffs three times.
Is Stafford an elite quarterback or just a guy who’s contract was up at the right time? Maybe a little of both. A top ten QB who was up for a new deal right now. But at the same time, they won 9 games last year and he had 8 fourth quarter comebacks and game-winning drives. That’s worth some serious jack. And right now, the happiest guy in the world has to be Aaron Rodgers, because if Stafford got 27, Aaron’s going to get even more. That’s how it works. If you’ve got a quarterback, you’ve got a shot. No quarterback, no chance. And Detroit has a quarterback.