Stafford says he doesn’t want his contract to kill the Lions’ cap


Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is expected to sign a long-term contract extension soon, but Stafford says no one should expect it to break any records.

In fact, Stafford says he wants to be mindful that under the NFL’s salary cap, every dollar the Lions spend on him is a dollar they can’t spend on another player. And Stafford says he wants to play with a lot of good teammates.

I want talent around me, frankly,” Stafford told the team’s website. “You see guys breaking records with how much they’re making and all that stuff, and honestly, you want fair market value, but I don’t really care about breaking records too much. I want to break records on the field. I want to win games and have as many good players around me as I possibly can.”

Of course, that attitude is a lot easier to express in an interview with the team’s website than in a negotiation session with team executives. And Stafford’s agent might not be quite so quick to agree to a deal designed to ensure that the Lions have enough cap space to stay competitive.

But Stafford says he’s confident a deal can get done without too much trouble.

“I want to do something,” Stafford said. “We’ll figure something out hopefully, and if not, then we’ll move on and table it for a year. Obviously, I love being here, I love this team and would love to bring a winner here. So that’s my number one focus this whole offseason was trying to do everything I could to help us win.”

Time will tell if doing everything he can to help the Lions win includes agreeing to a team-friendly contract.

88 responses to “Stafford says he doesn’t want his contract to kill the Lions’ cap

  1. Sure helps to get one of those last few, fat rookie contracts. But kudos to him for at least saying the right thing.

  2. and yet his cap number is over 20 million for this season…..

    easy for him to say considering hes pocketed 76 million without a single playoff win, frankly he doesn’t deserve to break any records

  3. Still say we can get more overall talent by trading him. Let his huge salary hinder another team. It’s very uncomfortable for me to see our team as being the team that happens to be in love with him the most. His contract and lack of progress as a value performer have been holding this team back. If it’s this year for him to take the next step then that’s great, but who is overseeing that and making sure that will happen and why has he not developed well so far? These are serious concerns that should be looked into more deeply beyond just ignoring them. That’s not a solution to win football games for the long term.

  4. It isn’t totally up to the player, frankly. The NFL players union gets up in a tizzy when players try to sign contracts significantly lower than their market value.

  5. Another guy pointed it out. He already did have a first round first pick rookie contract from the old system with 42 million guaranteed. Good for him Stafford for taking this approach. Teams start losing these QB’s to injuries when they have 30 % of their cap money dedicated to them I’m sure they will start wising up. Good example was the Colts the year before Andrew Luck.

  6. This is the sort of thing I was hoping to hear from Calvin Johnson last off-season. They’ve already got their millions, now go win some games and put your team in a position to win.

  7. It’s easy to say the right thing. Is he curently negotiating a new contract with a pay cut? Nope.

    Walk the walk Stafford. Otherwise, it’s meaningless. Talk is cheap.

  8. love the attitude you don’t see or hear that very often.. however, I’m sure when it comes time for Suh, Calvin, etc. they won’t see it the same way, thus it doesn’t matter if he takes less cause someone else is gonna take more if he doesn’t… unfortunately it takes more than one team to make a difference… not saying Calvin isn’t a team player but I’m sure he’ll take every penny he deserves…

    Good theory Stafford unfortunately it probably won’t be enough to add much more talent…

  9. It’s a great attitude to have, but I don’t think it really means too much in terms of what his contract will actually be. Just because he wants to win, doesn’t mean his agent and the NFLPA won’t push for him to get a bigger contract than Flacco and Romo. Last year Calvin had a great attitude about wanting to stay in Detroit and build a winning team here, but that didn’t stop him from accepting a huge contract

  10. It SHOULD be ONLY up to the player. But then you get these greedy agents and unions involved and then everyone wants a piece of the pie. As a Vikings fan I wish Strafford well, up to a point of course.

  11. ROFL

    Easy for Stafford to say. His current contract – one of the last #1 overall picks before the new wage scale – was ALREADY killing the Lions cap.

    He already got paid, and now he’s Mr. Nice guy about money.

    Please. He’ll get paid his 18 million a year. and yeah, its not 20 a year, but he also didn’t put up the best 5 year start to a QB career in a Generation. So yeah, there is that. He also hasn’t won a playoff game yet. Flacco has 9. Other noteworthy stats:

    Flacco NFL records

    First rookie quarterback to start all sixteen games and make the playoffs (shared with Matt Ryan)
    First rookie quarterback to win two playoff games[35]
    Most combined regular and postseason wins in first three years as a quarterback: 36 (tied with Dan Marino)[36]
    Only quarterback to start and win a playoff game in each of his first five seasons[37]
    Most starts by a quarterback in first season: 19
    Most starts by a quarterback in first two seasons: 37
    Most starts by a quarterback in first three seasons: 55
    Most starts by a quarterback in first four seasons: 73
    Most starts by a quarterback in first five seasons: 93
    Most wins by a quarterback in first 80 consecutive starts: 54
    Most road playoff wins by a quarterback: 6
    Most touchdowns in a postseason: 11 (tied with Joe Montana and Kurt Warner)[32]
    Most touchdowns without an interception in a postseason: 11 (tied with Joe Montana)[33]
    First quarterback to have a passer rating over 100 in all four games of a single postseason[3]
    Most consecutive playoff games with three passing touchdowns: 3 (tied with Bernie Kosar, Kurt Warner, and Aaron Rodgers)

  12. Brees, Flacco, and Big Ben have rings. I think Stafford should imitate their “winning” attitude. Not the other way around.

    And before I hear all the Stafford needs more help comments, none of those guys have ever had a wide out that could hold Calvin Johnsons jock strap.

  13. Calvin is already signed for plenty of years btw. I enjoy that people somehow put a negative spin on this. You guys must be miserable all the time.

  14. Easy flacco to boldin……look at the facts chief….

    You put flacco on an 0-16 team and stafford on Baltimore with a running game and he would probably have had won 2 superbowls by now….

  15. The teams that will dominate over the next five to seven years are those that have QBs that they got after the rookie salary structure was in place. The earlier QBs eat up too much cap.

  16. zeeman911

    Please. The Ravens were a spotty team at best before Flacco’s arrival. Last year the defense was in the bottom third of the league. Stafford throws to Calvin Johnson as his #1. Flacco best option year to year is nothing compared to Megatron.

    Stafford is a decent player, but he hasn’t proven didly squat yet unless you’re another one of these fantasy football is real life type guys.

  17. What type of money does this guy think he deserves? He has done nothing in his career. His mechanics are terrible and if he didnt have Megatron to just throw it up to his numbers would be terrible.

    He is slightly better than Mark Sanchez.

  18. He says that, but it won’t matter. He’ll get a huge contract and express the business side of things. This is what agents do for a living.

  19. This is code for “I know I’m not good enough to get the money that Brees, Flacco, Manning, or Rodgers can.. but I will get what I can.”

  20. “Highest paid player in NFL history” is a phrase I’m tired of hearing. Young players put their livelihoods on the line for $350k so a $2om QB can wing it out there in front of a defender who’s looking to change the inertia of their internal organs. Woulda been nice to spend some of that money Stafford wants to save his team on Cliff Avril.

  21. Aaron Rodgers maybe you should be thinking like Matthew Stafford. Your O-line is a joke and the defense sucks too! With all the money tied up in you AR, that makes it very hard to seriously compete for a Lombardi, when the only way to upgrade the team is the draft. Getting younger every year will not get the pack closer to winning another Super Bowl. In TED I DON’T TRUST.

  22. Please! It’s sad how most of the media and fans judge QB’s by their regular season stat’s and nothing else. Romo, Ryan and Stafford are prime examples. I would much rather have a QB who can win (or in Romo or Stafford’s case) make it to the post season and win. All these athletes make too much money but at least in Rodgers and Flacco’s case they earn their money.

  23. Bob says: Apr 16, 2013 12:41 PM

    Wish someone would have told that to Drew Brees.


    Yeah, Brees contract is so bad, the Saints could never afford 13 free agents this offseason….

    Oh, wait.

  24. Flacco to boldin

    Obviously Calvin is better en any receiver on Baltimore, but compare the entire group.

    Calvin, burlson, titus, Broyles, Durham, let it through…I mean petigrew. Compaired to boldin, jones, pitta and smith….plus a solid solid run game…..hmmmmm I hope flacco can complete some passes….

    Despite what everyone says, Calvin didn’t have that level of success, until stafford started chucking it to him!

  25. Overall Lions record since Stafford was drafted
    2009: 2-14
    2010: 6-10
    2011: 10-6
    2012: 4-12

    top 10 QB material???? I’d trade him for picks before his 1st round 1st pick loses luster.

  26. jjbo811:

    I very much agree with you. He has lost lots of luster since he was drafted. Before we made that pick, and shortly after were actually our best times to go in another direction. Every day we prolong moving on from Stafford is one day longer it will take to become a truly elite team. Unless they develop Stafford appropriately, which is still possible, but it doesn’t look encouraging for where he’s at and I don’t see the Lions tuned in to his problem areas regarding mechanics, instincts, and decision making.

    We need better coaches and advisers if we want to have any chance to truly capitalize on Stafford as a potential long-term fixture. Same goes in general for all of our QBs and LBs and DBs in particular who are not trained and coached well. It’s a major problem, and the Lions are wasting precious time each and every season to fail miserably instead of build and dominate. I find the converse to my position to be rather indefensible.

  27. Thats really funny. An average quarterback who has been overpaid for years who has never achieved any post season success claims he wants to be modest on his contract to help the team become competitive.

    I did the same thing. I told my boss that I dont need my salary to be increased to 12 million a year because I care about the company’s bottom line. He laughed and then thanked me for my humility. I assume now he will have enough savings so that we will all get bonuses!

  28. If you want to do that Matt, then take a six-year deal for 7-8 million per year. That’s more than enough money for you and your family AND when endorsements, you’ll make even more.

    And jjbo811, QBs aren’t the sole reason a team wins or loses. The Lions have plenty of other problems, but QB isn’t one of them.

  29. He then followed that up with “But i have no problem killing my teams playoff hopes with my play.”

  30. With a 79.8 QB rating (20TD 17INT). He won’t get a huge contract anyway. That would be like Tim Tebow saying the same thing.

  31. hmm, you have to win a playoff game first before you can break any contract records. I don’t think stafford has to worry about breaking any records.

  32. to thestrategyexpert: Matt could be a good QB, I think the GM/Coach in place is WAY overvalued. We’ve all heard form every outlet that the coach is a genius. I don’t see it, but I could be wrong.

    Detroit is determined never to draft a DB with a high pick. After their 0-16, their highest pick spent on the backfield is a 3rd. Why?

    The bloat their cap on a few handful and hope the remaining 40-45 players are half way decent.

    If Matt had more help and better drafting, he could be good. but as is he’ll really never go anywhere in Detroit.

  33. He is not good!!!! It was always a stretch pick. Anyone who thinks he is good is a MORON. He is out of the league or a backup in 3 years.

    Whoever posted his W/L record above hit the nail on the head.

  34. This guy is unbelievable. Hes already hurting the team with his 20 million dollar cap number. What a complete joke, it easy to say you don’t want to tie up the cap with a record contract when he hasn’t done anything to earn a record contract anyway.

    Anybody that has more respect for this guy after him saying this is simply clueless. Brees, Flacco and Rodgers deserve huge contracts, the only reason Stafford will approach those contracts is because of his inflated rookie contract, plain and simple.

    Stop being so dang gullible people.

  35. Did you guys see who he was throwing to last year? It was Megatron and a bunch of bargain basement players after their #2, #3, and #4 WR’s went on IR. Along with Pettigrew banged up at the end of the year. Starting RB coming off a ruptured achilles before he played a game his rookie year and a UDFA #2 RB. They were still a top 5 offense.

  36. Way to go Stafford! If only my QB Aaron Rodgers will follow suit! The NFL needs to do something about these QB contracts, they are getting ridiculous. This is a team sport and QB is just a piece of the puzzle!

  37. Finally some sensibility. Here’s a top 10 QB, not a top 5 QB, that wants fair market value. Flacco & Romo to a page out of the book of greed.

  38. “And Stafford’s agent might not be quite so quick to agree to a deal designed to ensure that the Lions have enough cap space to stay competitive.”

    -to hell with that guy. Seriously, when did we all get tricked into this agent-first kind of thinking?

    Next time I see Matt I’m gonna buy him a keg of his favorite deadlifting beer.

  39. Smart. Millions and millions is enough to sustain anybody for life and Stafford knows that. But, to a team, an extra $10 or $20 million in cap space can mean a lot!

  40. I hope you’re not buying this” save some money for the team” BS. His agent, the players union will not allow him to get the most he can get. How many PO appearances? How many wins last year, 5? He better take what he can get.

  41. Great attitude. He’s making enough money to do something he loves (I hope so, anyway).
    Have to repeat, great, no, Fantastic attitude.

  42. Stafford is a fantasy football stud. In real football terms though he has a losing record and has never won a playoff game. Nobody is denying his potential but than again he was overpaid as a draftee for his potential. Why do the same thing again?

  43. What is wrong with the haters thinking?

    One man, even the QB, can not win the Super Bowl. You have to have alot of great players and coaches and get some breaks to win a Super Bowl. Stafford can lead to one, he has the talent and attitude. We just need to put the other pieces in place.

  44. Sounds great but he already pocketed 76 million from his rookie contract. And he counts 20 million to This year cap. So…….he’s already pocketed 3/4 of joe flaccos contract with 1/10000000 of his success

  45. Love this guy!…says the right things..lets wait and see his guess? ..He will back up his words. Class act!

  46. jjbo811:

    Sorry I wrote an extremely long reply to your last comment that didn’t make it, so just not trying to appear rude by letting you know if this comment does make it, but I tried to respond to your question of as to why as well as the other topics you brought up. Until next time I guess.

  47. His current cap number is so large because he has, every off-season, restructured his deal (at the team’s request) to free up more cap room for signing players.

    He’s hit the point where they can’t do that anymore, which is why they’re talking an extension. The extension will relieve some cap room this year (which they can roll over to 2014) and leave the Lions in a much better cap situation in 2015.

    Please, if you don’t know what you’re talking about, stick to commenting on Yahoo. You’re embarrassing your family.

  48. Somewhere, Tom “Killer” Kowalski is reading the comments to this post and laughing his head off.

  49. “You see guys breaking records with how much they’re making and all that stuff, and honestly, you want fair market value, but I don’t really care about breaking records too much. I want to break records on the field. I want to win games and have as many good players around me as I possibly can.”

    Stafford said it right there. “and honestly, you want fair market value. Guess what, he’smaking millions already people. Talk is cheap. All this whining and crying about Flacco? Lol. Flacco doesnt care about breaking records either but he does it anyway while becoming an MVP Champion!! Honestly, what has Stafford done to even deserve a huge contract like Brees, Flacco and soon Rodgers?

  50. Flacco earned his contract, Stafford should probably lead his team to a superbowl first

    Silly Troll……Jacoby Jones earned Flaccos contract. I hope the RatBirds choke on that contract. Ozzie is a moron. And will regret this off season. Browns will be better then that heap of castoffs.

  51. Stafford already is making $20 mil a year. It is funny that some on here thinks he is worth that kind of money. Christan Ponder was ranked above Stafford. Go ahead Detroit and pay him a big contract again. Romo might be a choke artist in the playoffs and 4th quarter but at least he has meaningful games to choke in. Detroit just throws the ball 50 times a game. What’s the old saying – stats are for losers? Well if you Detroit fans don’t wake up and realize that Stafford is not even close to franchise caliber then you deserve the 4 and 5 win seasons. Stafford has had ONE good year.

  52. @jus a Fan – You can “hope” all you want, but the facts are what they are. Ozzie, with Joe Flacco have put together the winniest franchise in the last 5 years. Do you think they are suddenly become stupid? Your hoping will only get you so far pal.

  53. THE GREAT DETROIT LIONS need to draft a QB and coach him up and let Stafford walk are trade him and build a strong line that a QB can step up in the pocket and G’s that is fast and can pull to get a runner outside and can hold their spot on a passing play.

    In the draft a QB that have a strong arm that can be coach up and you have the making of a team with strong running game and a control passing game and no more player making over 5 mill and a winner.

  54. Who cares what Stafford says. He is not in the negotiations at all, whatsoever. His agent is. Nobody wants to cripple their teams by how much money they make but nobody is leaving any money on the table either. Who is to say that the Lions would pay other players with money that Stafford would leave on the table?

  55. hold on with the record stuff, he barely played in his first 2 seasons and some of your are giving him credit for all of those loses. in his first full season dude makes the playoffs with an terrible defense, throws for 5,000 yards with no running game at all. last year wasn’t a great year but how about we give him more than 2 full seasons before having him bagging groceries at Walmart. If he can grow as a player then Lions will have a QB for first time since I can remember. it’s been said before but this is a team game which is why Marino never got a ring and it took Elway a while to get his too.

  56. I wouldn’t get too excited about 5000 yds., unless it’s helps your fantasy league. He had 727 attempts! Flacco woulda had 5225 yds with that many attempts. It’s WINS that count gentlemen. You can’t be paid 20 mil and only win 4 games.

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