Matthew Stafford The Highest Paid Player In NFL History
by Mike Sullivan Scores & Statson
Matthew Stafford just became the highest paid player in NFL history. Yes, you read that right.
Let’s get all this stuff out of the way first. No, he has never won a division title, he’s never won a playoff game, and yes he’s getting more money than any player who’s ever stepped foot on a football field. Pretty crazy to think about when you talk about those credentials. And that skepticism is fair. It’s always good to question things in life.
The Lions signed Matthew Stafford to a 5 year extension worth $135 million. He will make $27 million annually with a $50 million signing bonus.
People have to realize this is simply the market for productive quarterbacks right now. They are hard to find. But Stafford is a top 10 QB and deserves to be paid the market rate.
Before Stafford, it was Derek Carr who got the $25 million per year deal. Next it will be guys like Aaron Rodgers and Kirk Cousins, and Matt Ryan. It’s simple business.
Stafford, still just 29 years old, already holds franchise passing records like yards (30,303), completions (2,634), attempts (4,285) and touchdowns (187). He's also just 51-58 as a starting quarterback, and lost all three of his playoff games.
But he’s productive. He’s a QB who statistically is pacing for the Hall of Fame, as crazy as that sounds. It’s very, very difficult to find competent QBs nowadays.
Let’s also be clear, Matthew Stafford hasn’t exactly had a ton of help around him. He’s never had a great running game, never really had great defenses besides in 2011 (a defense that fell apart in their playoff game.)
There are plenty of fans who have reservations about paying Stafford all of this money. There are plenty of people who will point to his 5-46 record against winning teams and say he doesn’t deserve it. But there are way more metrics than a simple win/loss record which isn’t even a direct indicative of the starting quarterback. It’s like pitcher wins in baseball, or goalie wins in hockey. It’s not really fair to solely attach those wins/losses to one player when there are SO many other variables that go into winning and losing. And football, as we know, is the ultimate team sport after all.
As someone who has lived in Detroit his whole life, I’m definitely fine with the deal. I realize that Stafford is the best QB the Lions have ever had, I realize he’s simply getting paid what the market dictates, and I also realize that it’s the cost of doing business.
Let’s be honest, Stafford won’t be the highest paid player for long. There will be others that immediately top his contract within the next year. Multiple people.
I think Stafford has earned this deal. He deserves it and I’m happy all of this contract saga is over. Heck, I’m from Detroit, I don’t want to lose another Max Scherzer or Ndamukong Suh because the franchise refuses to pay him.
Credit Lions GM Bob Quinn who got Stafford at $27 million when it certainly seemed like he wanted closer to $30 million. It’s a good thing Stafford is locked up long term. Now let’s just hope he and the Lions can win a playoff game sometime soon.