The Detroit Lions agree to make 29-year old quarterback Matthew Stafford the highest paid player in the National Football League.
When you have a franchise quarterback in the NFL, you have to do everything you can to try and keep them. And the Detroit Lions did just that late Monday night, agreeing to a massive contract extension with their starting quarterback, Matthew Stafford.
The deal will reportedly make Stafford a Lion until 2022. And the new five-year extension is apparently worth a jaw-dropping $135 million. At $27 million per season, the 29-year old is now the highest paid player in the NFL.
Stafford will surpass Oakland Raiders’ quarterback Derek Carr for that title, after Carr signed a six-year, $126 million deal back in June.
The Lions’ passer was entering the final season of a three-year, $53 million extension he signed back in July of 2013. So Detroit re-signing arguably the greatest quarterback in their franchise’s history was paramount this year.
The deal comes less than two weeks before the start of the regular season. When asked recently, Stafford was unsure if he was willing to negotiate a new deal once the season started. That fact likely escalated talks as of late.
The Lions made Stafford the top overall selection in the 2009 NFL Draft out of Georgia. Since then, the eight-year veteran has posted over 30,000 passing yards, 187 touchdowns and 108 interceptions. He has a career completion percentage of 61.5.
But Stafford, who is still under 30 years old, has recorded some of his best years as a professional in recent seasons. Not only has he led Detroit to two playoff berths in the past three years, but he’s arguably been one of the best clutch quarterbacks in the NFL.
Last year, Stafford threw for 4,327 yards, 24 touchdowns and 10 interceptions while also leading the Lions’ to an amazing eight fourth quarter comebacks. When the veteran passer injured his finger at the end of the season, Detroit promptly dropped four straight games including their lone matchup in the playoffs against the Seattle Seahawks.
There is no one person more responsible for the present and future success of the Detroit Lions than quarterback Matthew Stafford. And now, he’s being paid like it.