Rams are mad Matthew Stafford wouldn't do them a financial favor

The Rams gave Matthew Stafford a contract frontloaded with big money, and now they're not happy he wouldn't do them a financial favor.
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Tom Brady was famous for taking less money so the New England Patriots could keep a winning team around him. On the opposite end, Peyton Manning wanted to win but pushed off taking less money under the idea it's management's job to manage the salary cap.

A lot of Detroit Lions' fans will probably still lament the money doled out to Matthew Stafford based on the results the team had during his tenure. But incompetent front offices and coaches were not his fault, and he was granted his wish to be traded when the Lions entered another rebuild in 2021.

Stafford of course was dealt to the Los Angeles Rams, who then won a Super Bowl in his first year there. Then they posted the worst-ever record for a defending Super Bowl champion last year, which of course benefitted the Lions since they got the Rams' 2023 first-round pick in the Stafford trade.

Flimsy retirement rumors came regarding Stafford, after an injury-riddled season. But they gave way to him coming back to play this year.

There has been some stuff out there regarding the Rams being willing to trade Stafford, such as they could have even found a taker for the massive money he is owed. Pro Football Talk reported the Rams were hoping a team would call, with the Jets considered an option outside of their clear steadfastness to get Aaron Rodgers.

Rams are mad Matthew Stafford wouldn't do them a favor with his contract

By the third day of the league year back in March, Stafford collected another $57 million guaranteed (including his $31 million 2024 base salary) on top of the $63 million guaranteed at signing he got when he signed his four-year, $160 million extension in March of 2022.

The Rams are now paying the price for an "f'-them picks" roster building philosophy that yielded a Super Bowl ring. Restructuring some of the biggest money on their books is a fine idea.

Last week, via Rams Wire, Fox Sports' Colin Cowherd passed along this nugget about the Rams and Stafford.

"I was told by a source I trust that they wanted to re-do his contract,” “He wasn’t interested. It limits what they can do and they were frustrated with him.”"

Colin Cowherd

It's not clear if the Rams asked Stafford to restructure his deal, or take an outright pay cut. His refusal strongly insinuates the team wanted him to take a pay cut, and maybe a big one given where he is in his career.

At this point, with career on-field earnings over $300.8 million (via Spotrac, and not counting this year), it's all Monopoly money or "generational wealth" for Stafford. But on the other hand, why should he pay (literally) for the Rams' bad decision to structure his contract that way? And it's not the only bad business decision the Rams have made in recent years.

Based on this sentiment passed along by Cowherd, this might be Stafford's last season with the Rams. But trading him in 2024 will be no easy bargain either, with the aforementioned $31 million salary already guaranteed and cap hits of at least $49.5 million in 2024-2026.

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