Stafford

Detroit Lions signal caller, Matthew Stafford, has officially signed a new contract. Committing the nine-year veteran for five more years in Mo-Town. The deal is worth $135 million and suggested to have $92 million guaranteed to Stafford. $60.5 million of that guaranteed money at signing and rise to $92 million by year three.

With this contract, Stafford’s $27 million annual income is tops amongst any player in the NFL. Derek Carr was on his throne for nearly two months, earning $25 million annually, until Detroit locked in their franchise quarterback.

The face of the franchise, the leader of the pack, Matt Stafford deserves this contract. Joining the Lions a few short months after they accomplished a task that was unheard of. The famous 0-16 season. It was a mockery of football and unwatchable even if you had access to watching it.

Then came the savior, with the first pick in the first round of the 2009 NFL draft. Stafford was ready to win over Detroit. Doubling their wins from their previous season. He won his second game with a popped out non-throwing arm. Immediately winning the hearts of the die-hard fans.

As seasons progressed, so did the young gunslinger. The Lions started making appearances in the playoffs, and becoming a team people wanted to watch. It was fun to see the progression of Stafford and his trusted target Calvin Johnson.

Once Calvin Johnson announced his retirement, we waited patiently to see how Stafford would adjust without his go-to guy. Would we see less risks, more errant throws, favoritism towards a new guy? The entire NFL community was watching and Stafford delivered heart pounding wins, week in and week out. Cutting down on his interceptions and found himself a favorite in the MVP race, up until he broke his finger. He proved how talented he really is, even without one of the best receivers to ever play the game.

Stafford is one of five quarterbacks in the history of the NFL to throw for over 5,000 yards. The only other four quarterbacks to accomplish this feat are Dan Marino, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees; who’s done it 5 times. What a group to be in. Sure thing Hall of Famers, and then Stafford. I won’t say he is a sure thing Hall of Famer, because he needs to win even more now that he’s earned this contract, and also end Detroit’s winless drought in the playoffs.

However, it’s not just sunshine and roses. Stafford has yet to win a playoff game. He should’ve had one against the Cowboys, but zero playoff wins in eight years is not a good record. Stafford is 5-46 when playing a team with a winning record. Detroit is consistently playing little brother to Green Bay. These are trends that he will need to break if he wants to go down as one of the best to ever play.

The highest paid NFL player is about to set the stage for another MVP run. Alongside him is a talented running crew, who when healthy is fast, deceptive, great at catching the ball and turning them into big plays. A receiving corp that has a balanced mix of veterans and young-guns. An offensive line that looks improved, especially when Taylor Decker can return. The defense is ready, the fans are roaring, the anxious minds have been calmed by the extension to Stafford, and now we’re ready for some football.

About The Author Nick Faber

Nick is an avid fantasy footballer and avid sports follower from Detroit, Michigan. He hosts the Ten in the Head video podcast which can be found at facebook.com/teninthehead.