Detroit Lions: Russell Wilson’s contract puts things into perspective
The Detroit Lions severely overpaid Matthew Stafford. If things don’t change soon, they may need to look elsewhere for their man under center.
Back in August of 2017, the Detroit Lions gave quarterback Matthew Stafford a five-year, $135 million contract extension. At the time, it made Stafford the the highest paid player in NFL history. Now that contract is the sixth highest for quarterbacks by average salary per year.
But only after the Seattle Seahawks agreed to a four-year, $140 million extension for their quarterback Russell Wilson on Tuesday.
Here are the figures for the top-paid quarterbacks in the NFL, according to Spotrac:
- Russell Wilson – $35 million average salary per year, over 4 years
- Seattle Seahawks, Free Agent in 2024
- Aaron Rodgers – $33.5 million average salary per year, over 4 years
- Green Bay Packers, Free Agent in 2024
- Matt Ryan – $30 million average salary per year, over 5 years
- Atlanta Falcons, Free Agent in 2024
- Kirk Cousins – $28 million average salary per year, over 3 years
- Minnesota Vikings, Free Agent in 2021
- Jimmy Garoppolo – $27.5 million average salary per year, over 5 years
- San Francisco 49ers, Free Agent in 2023
- Matthew Stafford – $27 million average salary per year, over 5 years
- Detroit Lions, Free Agent in 2023
Stafford’s contract does look more modest – especially compared to the top three quarterbacks, who have now broken well past the thirty million dollar mark. The only advantage at this point is if Stafford is locked into a more reasonable salary (at least for the top paid guys) for the next four seasons. But that only works if he plays well.
The problem begins with last year. Stafford looked dreadful in 2018 and the team suffered for it. He certainly wasn’t the only problem. But he wasn’t exactly the solution either.