The Lions have never reached the Super Bowl, or won a playoff game since 1991, but they have decided who their franchise player is and are paying him better than anyone else in the League for that title.
Matthew Stafford, who has been at the helm of the Lions offense since 2009, was just given a huge new contract extension to the tune of $135 million for five years. At $27 million per year, that makes Stafford the highest paid played in the League ever. EVER.
The #Lions and QB Matthew Stafford agreed on a 5-year extension worth $135M, source said. Huge.
He was entering the final year of a contract which would have paid him a little over $17.6 million this season. With his new contract, Stafford passes Derek Carr of the Raiders, who was the highest paid player at the time (June of 2017) with a deal coming in at $25 million per year. At 29, Stafford appears to be in his prime and the Lions weren’t going to let him go anywhere.
Stafford was the first overall pick of the 2009 draft, but injuries set him back during his first two years in the League. But since 2011, he has been putting up serious numbers, including a 2011 in which he threw for 5,083 yards, 41 TDs and 16 INTs. Over the past five years, the Lions’ QB has thrown for an average of 4,493 yards with 25 TDs and 14 INTs. Last year he was in contention for NFL MVP until he hurt his hand and the Falcons’ Matt Ryan marched his team to the Super Bowl and took home the NFL MVP trophy.
This move by the Lions’ stabilizes their offensive leadership for the future and, most interestingly, leaves quarterbacks such as the aforementioned Ryan, Aaron Rodgers and even Kirk Cousins salivating as their opportunity for new contracts are coming up next season. Sounds like the wallets will be opening up in Atlanta, Green Bay and Washington DC.