In his negotiations with the Lions, quarterback Matthew Stafford hold all the cards. And he knows it. And he feels no need to put any of them on the table.
Via LionsLowDown.com, Stafford reiterated on Saturday that he has “no timetable” for doing a new deal. He used the same term last month when discussing the situation, and he has shown no sense of urgency to get something done.
He has no reason to. With more than $100 million in career earnings, another $16.5 million due this season, and a franchise-tag number of $26.4 million for 2018, Stafford can just sit back and wait for events to unfold.
Thanks to Kirk Cousins, who has become the Lewis and Clark of the year-to-year approach, Stafford now realizes that he would make more than $100 million from 2018 through 2020 if tagged three times by the Lions. And why wouldn’t they tag him three times? They currently have no other options, and it’s not like they could easily find another Matthew Stafford, barring another 0-16 season.
Unlike young players who have never realized a major payday, Stafford doesn’t have to pounce on a discounted deal now. He can wait it out, and with each passing day he gets closer to a three-season sequence that could see him turn the quarterback market on its ear and then hit the open market at 33, with more than $200 million in career earnings and maybe other $150 million to still make.