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Matthew Stafford could break the bank, if he wants

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If the Lions hope to extend quarterback Matthew Stafford’s contract, they’d be wise to get it done before the season starts.

With a base salary of $16.5 million and a cap charge of $22 million for 2017, Stafford will have plenty of leverage if he gets through the season without a new deal. At that point, it would cost the Lions $26.4 million to use the franchise tag for 2018. The tag would increase by another 20 percent to $31.698 million for 2019.

That’s a total payout of more than $58 million over two years, and that’s what Stafford should be seeking on a long-term deal before the coming season ends. Before the season ends, Stafford carries the risk of injury, which means he should be willing to take less than $58 million over the first two years, fully guaranteed.

At a bare minimum, he should be taking nothing less than his full $16.5 million for 2017 plus the 2018 tag amount fully guaranteed, a total of $42.9 million. Again, that’s the absolute bare minimum he should be willing to collect.

Stafford also should try to be the first quarterback to have the back end of the deal protected against ongoing cap spikes by tying compensation to increases in the annual spending limit. Some have tried but no one has managed to secure this term, which is permitted by the labor deal but apparently frowned upon by the Management Council.

However it plays out, the Lions will be able to do a much better deal if they do it sooner than later. Waiting sets the stage for a Kirk Cousins-type situation, with Stafford getting $26.4 million then $31.68 million then a 20-percent raise under the transition tag ($38 million) or a 44-percent spike under the franchise tag ($45.6 million) for 2020.

That’s either $96 million or $103 million for the three years after his contract expires. Which makes it even more important to get him to agree to terms before that happens.

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52 Responses to “Matthew Stafford could break the bank, if he wants”
  1. waynefontesismyfather says: Apr 14, 2017 2:06 PM

    Of course he’ll break our bank. The only player, ONLY player to take less cash is Tom Brady because he doesn’t need the money with his wife making tons of bank every year.

    That leaves more money for New England to go get better players.

    Stafford won’t give Detroit the hometown discount even if the four last letters of his name spell Ford.

  2. chieftaindawg says: Apr 14, 2017 2:08 PM

    I’d let him go for that money. Imagine how many quality players you could get. He ain’t that good.

  3. lgw91s says: Apr 14, 2017 2:13 PM

    It’s just absurd. There is only 1 QB that values winning over being paid in the elite category.
    As Bud Fox said to Gordon Gekko – How many yachts can you water ski behind?

  4. ricko1112 says: Apr 14, 2017 2:13 PM

    Time to move on. He’s one of those frustrating guys that can be really good, but will always let you down in the end. Just like Rivers.

  5. chawk12thman says: Apr 14, 2017 2:13 PM

    I agree with you. Leaverage team Stafford.

  6. dynastyfootballforme says: Apr 14, 2017 2:15 PM

    The tag is insurance against a slip in performance, so why is 2 years of franchise tag money always Florio’s contractual “starting point”? Why not 3 years? Or 4?

  7. packmangamble says: Apr 14, 2017 2:16 PM

    Way too much money for him. He’s not worth it!

  8. Before you hate, just make sure you refer to him as '2015 PRO BOWL MVP' Matthew Stafford says: Apr 14, 2017 2:16 PM

    As well he should. He proved last year that even without Calvin, he is a top-shelf QB in this league

  9. dejadoh says: Apr 14, 2017 2:17 PM

    And then there is no money to block for him. Break the bank and break you back.

  10. patriotsticketssince1978 says: Apr 14, 2017 2:19 PM

    wow

  11. exsquidao says: Apr 14, 2017 2:21 PM

    Really? Every and I mean EVERY Franchise should base how they pay their QB’s on ONE model, the TB12 model. How in the world would ANYONE pay Stafford that much for doing NOTHING? Mind boggling.

  12. snowdood163 says: Apr 14, 2017 2:25 PM

    Anyone else concerned with how fast these salaries are rising?

  13. Stupid Lions Fan says: Apr 14, 2017 2:29 PM

    He’s worth every penny. Pay him.

  14. 23rdusernameused says: Apr 14, 2017 2:29 PM

    Yo Matt, got a few bucks I could borrow, please??

  15. troubledoneswhobathe says: Apr 14, 2017 2:35 PM

    He is a damn good qb and I hope he can get everything he can. But on the flip side, the Lions haven’t won much with him and have to justify the price. Trade him and build for the future.

  16. ariani1985 says: Apr 14, 2017 2:35 PM

    Stafford > rodgers

    And its not even debatable!

  17. dartmouthstevens says: Apr 14, 2017 2:37 PM

    He needs to make “enough” If he were wise, he take a baseball like contract. 7 years 20 a year. All guaranteed. Its a mutual bet. He is saying I will take a lot less, but I get the money. More players should look for “highest guareenteed” contract not the biggest number and end up renegotiating it.
    140 M will set his grandkids up for life.

  18. bobthebillsfan says: Apr 14, 2017 2:40 PM

    Everyone says it is a QB driven league, really, it is a $$$ driven league. The Broncos proved you can win an SB without an elite QB. You need be have great talent elsewhere. It would be interesting see the fortunes of a team with a serviceable QB that focused on a lot of great talent at other positions to make up for it.

  19. jim699 says: Apr 14, 2017 2:40 PM

    QB is such a weird market. You have to pay guys like Cousins and Stafford like they’re top 5 QBs, lest you find yourself in the position of the Texans or the Browns.

  20. John Roc 65 says: Apr 14, 2017 2:41 PM

    Fun fact…
    Tim Tebow-1 playoff win
    Matthew Stafford- o playoff wins

    Need I say more

  21. lgw91s says: Apr 14, 2017 2:44 PM

    waynefontesismyfather says:
    Apr 14, 2017 2:06 PM
    Of course he’ll break our bank. The only player, ONLY player to take less cash is Tom Brady because he doesn’t need the money with his wife making tons of bank every year.
    ———-
    Yes, Brady has managed to scrape out an existence with a mere $196 million in career NFL earnings – not including endorsements.
    Yes, he probably could have hit at least $250 million – but would you really notice a decrease in lifestyle?

  22. streetyson says: Apr 14, 2017 2:47 PM

    Break the bank? He’s likeable, but in addition to the injury risk he’s yet to show he can lead a team to a playoff win (0-3). And he has a surprisingly modest 86.6 career rating despite all the yards.

  23. slippery59 says: Apr 14, 2017 2:48 PM

    No single player should get more than 10% of the salary cap.

  24. FinFan68 says: Apr 14, 2017 2:49 PM

    That’s a total payout of more than $58 million over two years, and that’s what Stafford should be seeking on a long-term deal before the coming season ends.
    ~~~~~~~~
    You are wrong on this again but you are consistently so. Your belief completely disregards the entire premise behind long-term deals–the transfer of injury risk from the player to the team. Why would a team sign a player long term for the same money AND assume sole responsibility for any injury risk? It makes no logical sense other than from a pro union player/anti management mentality that is bereft of reason.

  25. autumnwind999 says: Apr 14, 2017 2:50 PM

    ariani1985 says:
    Apr 14, 2017 2:35 PM
    Stafford > rodgers

    And its not even debatable!

    ———–

    Comedienne

  26. iceracer2015 says: Apr 14, 2017 2:52 PM

    bobthebillsfan says:
    Apr 14, 2017 2:40 PM
    Everyone says it is a QB driven league, really, it is a $$$ driven league. The Broncos proved you can win an SB without an elite QB. You need be have great talent elsewhere. It would be interesting see the fortunes of a team with a serviceable QB that focused on a lot of great talent at other positions to make up for it.
    ———————————————————————

    See: the Cincinnati Bengals

  27. beavertonsteve says: Apr 14, 2017 2:53 PM

    Keep in mind, Eli, Brees, Rodgers, Wilson, Cam and Brady are all making over $8 Million a year in endorsement deals. It’s easier to talk about taking one for the team when half your income is coming from somewhere else.

  28. daysend564 says: Apr 14, 2017 2:53 PM

    Ain’t never wun nuttin

  29. lenthevikesfan says: Apr 14, 2017 2:56 PM

    I’d say he’s played his best football with Megatron not on the field. Kind of like a reverse Daunte Culpepper situation when Moss left. That’s something worth noting.

  30. maust1013 says: Apr 14, 2017 2:58 PM

    waynefontesismyfather says:
    Apr 14, 2017 2:06 PM
    Of course he’ll break our bank. The only player, ONLY player to take less cash is Tom Brady because he doesn’t need the money with his wife making tons of bank every year.
    ====================

    Tom Brady gets his. He has been paid more than anyone in the history of the game not named Manning. He just gets his money up front in cap friendly deals. Quinn came to Detroit from New England where Brady has never played in the last year of a contract and the cap is massaged by getting him his money upfront and continually tearing up his current contract with years remaining. If Quinn believes in Stafford (like the organization should) then he will follow that model.

    One of the reasons the cap figure is so high is that all future risk is on the player. The assumption of the tag amount being the baseline for an extension is always being made here at PFT but it is a fallacious argument when the player is entering a contract year. For the premise to be valid in this case, Stafford would have to already be tagged. No matter what might come his way via the tag or the highly unlikely event of being on the open market in ’18 the fact is the only way he can get paid more in ’17 and get guaranteed security beyond it is to extend now, in essence being the anti Cousins and trading max potential payout for security.

  31. mrcneff says: Apr 14, 2017 3:05 PM

    Fun fact…
    Tim Tebow-1 playoff win
    Matthew Stafford- o playoff wins

    Need I say more

    Yes! Say how the next game exposed him for the fraud he is. What the Pats did to him, is what every team was going to do the him for the rest of his career.

  32. maddmatter5 says: Apr 14, 2017 3:11 PM

    dejadoh says:
    Apr 14, 2017 2:17 PM
    And then there is no money to block for him. Break the bank and break you back.

    ——
    100% false, Lions have two second year starters (Decker, Glasgow) two newly signed free agents (Wagner, Lang) and a starter still on his rookie deal (Swanson)

    SJust looking at it. The Lions offensive line is pretty decent, young and locked up for the next 3-4 years at least.

    Obviously injuries happen, but that just means 2nd year player in Dahl will be the top reserve. Another player on their rookie contract.

    Quinn seems like he knows what he is doing. So I’m not worried at all.

    And to the people that want Stafford to leave because of his next contract, alright, but then who is your QB? Rudock? Really? If you’re going to get rid of Stafford you better hope one of the top QBs are available at 21, because you can’t honestly expect Rudock to be anything other than a Shaun Hill clone.

  33. fuhq says: Apr 14, 2017 3:14 PM

    ariani1985 says:
    Apr 14, 2017 2:35 PM

    Stafford > rodgers

    And its not even debatable!
    ——————————————————-
    You’re an idiot……. that’s not even debatable!!!

  34. dawoger says: Apr 14, 2017 3:14 PM

    He embarrassed the Barneys twice last season. Not that that’s to difficult but it’s worth an extra 10m a year in entertainment value to me.

  35. a1b24312 says: Apr 14, 2017 3:15 PM

    Everytime I see this guy’s name, I keep seeing Mel Kiper frothing at the mouth saying this guy’s name over and over again…

  36. bigbadbills says: Apr 14, 2017 3:22 PM

    waynefontesismyfather says:
    Apr 14, 2017 2:06 PM
    Of course he’ll break our bank. The only player, ONLY player to take less cash is Tom Brady because he doesn’t need the money with his wife making tons of bank every year.

    That leaves more money for New England to go get better players.

    Stafford won’t give Detroit the hometown discount even if the four last letters of his name spell Ford.
    **********************************************************

    Marsha never took less money he just restructured and made more guaranteed. But Marhsa should take less, he isn’t crap without Goodell and the refs. He’s NFL made to put the bangwagon fans of Boston in the seats.

  37. twomadmapper says: Apr 14, 2017 3:22 PM

    Stafford worth more than 100M, seriously? How many playoff wins does he have? How many banners has he facilitated in winning? Sorry, me thinks he’s not worthy of that kinda cash…

    Heck, that’s Tom Brady kinda money, and no offense, but Matt’s just not at the same level as Brady… He might be worth maybe half that… If….

  38. isithockeyseasonyet says: Apr 14, 2017 3:23 PM

    Nick Foles was also a pro bowl MVP

  39. wryly1 says: Apr 14, 2017 3:29 PM

    Stanford, Schmafford. Do we realize he has a lower winning percentage the Jay Cutler – and has dragged down almost as many head coaches? Biggest difference is Stafford did it with the same team.

  40. bdshaffer20 says: Apr 14, 2017 3:40 PM

    It takes 53… Stafford has as much heart and toughness as anyone, Not to mention the most 4th quarter comebacks/miracles in a season in the HISTORY of the league. Oh and has thrown for more yards than any HUMAN in the history of the GAME in his 1st 100 plus starts!!!!! ANYONE!!!!! Look it up… #9

  41. 2ruefan says: Apr 14, 2017 3:46 PM

    Dawoger…
    I can see you are not very sharp (bases on the content of your posts) so I’ll make this simple:

    To is a preposition which begins a prepositional phrase or an infinitive.

    Too is an adverb meaning “excessively” or “also.”

    Two is a number. Many other words in English which reflect the number two are spelled with tw: twin, twice, between, tweezers, etc.

  42. intrafinesse says: Apr 14, 2017 3:49 PM

    >>Stafford also should try to be the first quarterback to have the back end of the deal protected against ongoing cap spikes by tying compensation to increases in the annual spending limit.

    He can try, doesn’t mean he’ll get it.
    Teams are willing to pay a certain salary becasue the figure in a few years that won’t be as painful.
    If the salary will be painful every year, they will want to lower the base.

    You can get 25 or 26 or 27MM per year with no cap escalator.

    Of get 23, with a cap increase raise built in.

    But if you want 26, 28, 30, 32, 34 then no, I wouldn’t agree to that.

    I would over pay him because he is above average, and its so hard to get an even average QB, and you still have to pay them alot.
    Id pay Stafford 12MM/year more than … Mike Glennon.

  43. firejerry says: Apr 14, 2017 4:15 PM

    Stafford has already made more than $100M. This contract for 4 years should put him above $200M. Who need to win…..isn’t earning the most bucks winning?????

  44. Before you hate, just make sure you refer to him as '2015 PRO BOWL MVP' Matthew Stafford says: Apr 14, 2017 4:46 PM

    Hockey is terrible. Boring and the playoff seeding rules are incredibly stupid

  45. v2787 says: Apr 14, 2017 4:51 PM

    New Orleans broke the bank with Drew Brees, and now they’re fighting the salary cap. Stafford is good, but he’s not THAT good. Sign him to a reasonable contract or let him go. Nobody is worth more than the team’s well-being. You just can’t tie up the salary cap on one guy. Look at the Saints and learn from their mistake.

  46. Pocari Sweat says: Apr 14, 2017 4:52 PM

    It’s not in Matthew’s nature to push to get every last drop he can get.

    In fact, he took a pretty team-friendly deal last time around, if you remember, and said to the media ‘I told you guys I don’t need to be the highest paid whatever.’

    Plus he got in on the old rookie contract. I don’t think he’ll break the Lions cap, but will get a good fair deal for both parties.

  47. redsoxu571 says: Apr 14, 2017 5:20 PM

    Mike Florio finally contradicted himself regarding his nonsense stance of building contracts around TWO years of the franchise tag! “Before the season ends, Stafford carries the risk of injury, which means he should be willing to take less than $58 million over the first two years, fully guaranteed.”

    News flash: RISK OF INJURY IS AN ANNUAL THING. The reason a player can’t demand the 20% raise under a second year of the salary cap is because RISK OF INJURY OR REDUCED PERFORMANCE MEANS HE MIGHT NEVER SEE THAT SECOND FRANCHISE TAG SEASON. I can accept that contract negotiations start with the value of the franchise tag, once a player is in fact tagged, but that’s it.

  48. lks311 says: Apr 14, 2017 5:48 PM

    Stop the “playoff win” thing…everyone says that. Have an original thought and ask yourself, if Tebow was a Lion, would he have faired better?

  49. crappygovernment says: Apr 14, 2017 6:36 PM

    Fun fact…
    Tim Tebow-1 playoff win
    Matthew Stafford- o playoff wins

    Need I say more

    Yes! Say how the next game exposed him for the fraud he is. What the Pats did to him, is what every team was going to do the him for the rest of his career.

    ————

    Andrew Luck was routed by the Pats in the playoffs. He was not banished from the league like Tebow!

  50. maestro1899 says: Apr 14, 2017 7:09 PM

    snowdood163 says:
    Apr 14, 2017 2:25 PM
    Anyone else concerned with how fast these salaries are rising?
    – – –

    Compared to the salary cap, QB salaries are NOT rising that fast.

    When Flacco, Ryan, Rodgers, et al signed their last contract extensions around 2013, these elite QBs (well, some of them) were getting around $22M. Four years later, the top QB salary hasn’t even reached $25M yet.

    So while elite QB salaries have risen about 10% over the past 4 years, the cap has averaged about a 10% increase EVERY YEAR.

  51. Frazier28/7 says: Apr 15, 2017 12:55 PM

    I would take him in a heartbeat over Bradford.

    But $58 million in 2 years? Nobody is worth $58 million for 2 years.
    Unless you’re an idiot from Wisconsin, they’ll gladly pay that much.

  52. gbfranz says: Apr 16, 2017 11:54 AM

    Millions of dollars are casually talked about as if they were pennies… The greed in pro sports is friggin’ amazing, owners, players, agents, they’re all the same… Then listen to the sports reporters and it’s no different…

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