It’s hard not to appreciate the fact that Stafford is a gamer. But more harm than good can come from playing hurt.
Missing out on quarterback Dwayne Haskins in the first round of this past draft looks like a big mistake in my opinion. Not only could Haskins have learned for a few years – and grown with the team – but he could have given the team a legitimate option if Stafford suffers an injury.
The other side of the argument is that Stafford has never been given a great supporting cast. And, outside of maybe a season, this team had average to below average rosters. There is no consistency.
So, drafting tight end T.J. Hockenson over a guy like Haskins makes sense. Haskins could give the quarterback position depth, but Hockenson could give the starting quarterback a legitimate weapon that helps to win now – or at least in the next few seasons.
But as 2022 draws closer, it feels like Stafford will be on the team beyond that season. Maybe he will even be willing to hang in that $20-25 million range to help the team secure better players.
It’s hard to see how it ends for Stafford and the Detroit Lions. It would be nice if the story included a Lombardi Trophy, but that lofty goal seems more and more out of reach as the years pass.
The extension may be one of the worst moves by the franchise because it was done so hastily. But if this team ever hopes to reach the height of a championship contender, they have definitely put all their eggs in the Stafford basket.
To try and switch without someone else in place would probably take this team right back to where it was before Stafford: clueless general manager Matt Millen at the helm, rudderless under the tutelage of head coach Rod Marinelli, and achieving the first 0 and 16 season in NFL history. They’ve done it once, and they can certainly do it again.