For the second time this offseason, former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb has weighed in on a current NFL quarterback’s contract. And for the second time, McNabb has expressed his disapproval.
In March, McNabb said Tony Romo isn’t worth the money the Cowboys have agreed to pay him. Now McNabb has weighed in on Matthew Stafford’s new contract with the Lions, and once again McNabb believes the team is overpaying.
“It’s about wins and losses again,” McNabb said on NFL Network, via MLive.com. “Now, as a quarterback and as Matt Stafford, hey, I would take that contract just like Tony Romo took his contract. But is he worth top 5 money? I would have to say no. And I say that because it’s about wins and losses. What has he really done for the Detroit Lions? Nothing.”
When McNabb says it’s “about wins and losses,” however, he seems to miss a fundamental point about the Lions’ decision to sign Stafford to a new five-year deal: Detroit isn’t paying Stafford to reward him for past wins. Detroit is paying Stafford because it believes he can lead the team to future wins. And given that Stafford only turned 25 this year and hasn’t even reached his prime yet, there’s a pretty good chance that the Lions’ calculation will turn out to be correct.
There’s also the reality that the Lions chose Stafford with the first overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft, back in the days before the rookie wage scale, when highly drafted rookies got enormous contracts. That 2009 contract was so huge his new contract will actually reduce what he would have cost the Lions over the next three years. This deal might not have been a great one under ordinary circumstances, but the top picks of the last few years before the rookie wage scale was implemented really aren’t negotiating contracts under ordinary circumstances.
McNabb may be right that what Stafford has done to date hasn’t been enough to earn the five-year, $76.5 million contract he just signed. But it wasn’t a bad deal for the Lions.