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Previous adjustments could push Matt Stafford to front of line

Matthew Stafford AP

Now that Drew Brees has gotten his contract, the speculation turns to which quarterback is next at the window.

While he has more time left on his current contract than other passers, previous restructurings could make Lions quarterback Matt Stafford the next to cash in.

First off, Stafford’s not nearly as good as Brees. But he is good, and younger, which will give him the opportunity to approach the five-year, $100 million deal the Saints quarterback finished Friday.

As Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press notes, the Lions have converted base salary to signing bonus in each of the last two years on Stafford’s deal to create short-term room. That has pushed next year’s salary cap charge over $20 million, and over $19 million in 2014.

With a number of starters entering contract years after the coming season (Cliff Avril, Corey Williams, Justin Durant, DeAndre Levy, Chris Houston, Louis Delmas and Gosder Cherilus) , that could put some pressure on the Lions to clear cap room the next few seasons by knocking down Stafford’s number with an extension this offseason.

It’s worth noting that agent Tom Condon, who negotiated Brees’ deal, will drive this process carefully. In addition to Stafford, he also represents Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, whose deal runs through 2013.

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6 Responses to “Previous adjustments could push Matt Stafford to front of line”
  1. smstonerock says: Jul 15, 2012 4:19 PM

    Playoff game stats:

    Stafford: 28/43 380 yds 3 td

    Brees: 33/43 466 yds 3 td

    Regular season:

    Stafford: 421/663 5,038 yds 41 td 16 int

    Brees: 468/657 5,476 yds 46 td 14 int

    One could argue that Stafford is nearly as good.

  2. CKL says: Jul 15, 2012 4:36 PM

    Condon…ugh. Never have I been more in favor of my team’s stance on an agent than I was with him. They even do fine with Rosenhaus clients. They even forgave the POSTONS (Andre Carter, 1st one since Lawyer Milloy I think)before they dealt with Condon again. And that was only because the Condon client involved practically begged to follow Josh McDaniels to wherever he went. I thank goodness that Brady has the same low profile agent he always had (Yee) or I bet even he wouldn’t be a Patriot anymore.

  3. lionsownyou says: Jul 15, 2012 8:35 PM

    Yeah you’re right. Not NEARLY as good. Unless you’re basing your analysis on statistics.

  4. Soulman45 says: Jul 15, 2012 9:47 PM

    Stafford will get paid he mean that mush to his team the First QB seance Bobby Lane what ever it take.
    THE GREAT DETROIT LIONS will have to pay on their way to the Super Bowl.

  5. zack2482 says: Jul 16, 2012 7:27 AM

    Stafford is good but let’s see how he does this year. He can’t be mentioned with Brees until he actually plays a couple more seasons.

  6. chazk100 says: Jul 16, 2012 8:37 AM

    Stafford is good, and a lot younger than Brees. Let’s see, Stafford:
    1. matched Brees’ production last year, despite being only 23 and playing his first full season
    2. in five years, will still be younger than Brees is now.
    3. did what he did w/o any running game: everybody knew he was throwing; didn’t matter.
    4. has as many or more weapons than Brees to throw to.
    5. has the Lions over a salary cap barrelhead.

    don’t be surprised if Stafford gets a contract that matches or passes Brees’.

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