Lions working on Stafford deal, but have a deadline


Lions team president Tom Lewand described talks toward an extension for quarterback Matthew Stafford as a “very productive process,” but said if they can’t reach a deal before the season starts, they’ll just wait until after the season ends.

“We’ve still got some discussion to have, but at some point in time we’ll either get a deal done or we’ll focus on football,” Lewand said of Stafford, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “It’s a different dynamic when you have two years left on a contract versus one. Most of them get done with a year left. And we’ve worked through a lot of those issues and continue to do that, want to continue the dialogue.

“But at some point in time we’ll either have a deal or we’ll agree that the focus needs to be on what’s going on on the field.”

The Lions have been talking about a new deal for Stafford since February, with the talks progressing in April.

Stafford has two years left on his rookie deal, but salary cap numbers of $20.8 million this year and $19.3 million next have the Lions looking to do something sooner.

While Stafford’s value is inflated because his first contract was signed under the old CBA (before owners beat rookie deals down to a manageable level), deals such as those for Tony Romo and Joe Flacco provide some degree of framework.

“Again, I think it’s atypical for us to enter into discussions with Matthew with two years left on his deal, and I’m very glad we have,” Lewand said. “I think it’s been a very productive process that may result in an agreement, and I certainly think will result in an agreement at the right point in time, and that may be soon and it may be a little bit later, but the process itself has been very valuable.

“It’s not something clubs around the league generally do as a matter of course because with two years left on a deal it is a little more difficult. It obviously does happen, Aaron Rodgers being an example, but it’s more of the exception than the rule with two years left.”

While Stafford’s value shouldn’t approach Rodgers’ based on production, the fact the Lions are close against the salary cap and could use the room will only help him.

29 responses to “Lions working on Stafford deal, but have a deadline

  1. Thanks to the new wave of QB contracts it’s going to be awfully difficult for the Lions to use the Franchise Tag on Stafford.

    Their options might be to either give him a $25 M / year contract with big guaranteed money, or lose him. And they can’t lose him.

  2. It’s scary if you analyze our cap situation for 2014 and 2015. So much wasted money over the years, not to count all of the money wasted during the last several seasons for all of the failed efforts. We have over 100 players that were dead weight money over the last decade that we could have traded away for something useful for the future, instead we paid out almost the full salary cap every single year to accomplish nothing. This team does not understand how to evaluate football talent nor does it appreciate the value of a dollar.

    And they have to do something with Stafford’s contract, and unfortunately that means they will also choose to lock him up for more years which while it reduces our cap number this year and next year very importantly, it will add a lot of new money onto the problem and push that out until 2015 and beyond to make those years even weaker with additional poor financial leverage.

    This is really pathetic. And it’s all Mayhew’s fault, or Ford’s fault for picking this guy to ruin CJ’s legacy. Just like they did with Barry. What a shame and a sham.

  3. What if they win the Super Bowl? Then Detroit will be screwed and forced to offer him a huge contract. Lol jk

  4. Look at that frat boy d**khead. He’s always going to be one of those QBs who puts up pretty good numbers (because of Johnson and the system) but never really does anything in his career.

  5. Tell him to get rid of that stupid little boy hair due that hes had since day 1. Mayb then they will give him a grown ass man deal!!! Niner nation baby!!

  6. Dont get mad lions fans, its nothing personal, but seriously how can he expect a new deal? Look at the dude, he doesnt take care of himself at all. Looks about 20 or 30 pounds over weight. I wouldnt put my money into that. He suppose to b a leader rite, and leaders lead by example. If u ask me…….what a bad example!!!! They should really got on him about that. Oh and the hair due also!!! Time to grow up!! Lol

  7. He’s a good, not great quarterback. We all know the money is way out of line in sports, movies etc… Flacco is overpaid relative to his talent and Matt Ryan will be too shortly. Rodgers, Brady, Manning and Drew are the best. The Flacco’s, Ryan’s, Stafford’s should all be below those 4 in terms of salary and recognition… Eli and Ben are both below the first 4 I mentioned as well…

  8. As a Bears fan, I believe Jay Cutler deserves to get a new deal from the Bears before Stafford gets one from Detroit, especially since Stafford is still under Lions control for two more years, while Jay is entering the final year of his deal.

    My other problem with Stafford compared to Cutler is that Matt has a career W-L record of 17-28 in 45 games (of a possible 64)…Jay is 34-22 over the same 4-year span, only missing 8 starts.

    All that being said, I believe both men are the franchise OB of their respective teams and should get deals done, but neither deserves A-Rod money…yet.

  9. Maybe I’m missing something, but I see no benefit to the Lions by signing him before this season begins. He had one exceptional season and dropped off the year after. You can’t give top 5-10 quarterback money to a quarterback who led the team to a 4-12 record.

    If he takes this team to the playoffs and gets one post-season win this season, I’ll be happy to see the Lions pay him the high contract. If his performance is stagnant or he has another major injury, maybe the Lions can sign him to a more reasonable contract extension that’s cap-friendly. I feel like this is the career-defining year for him and I’ll be excited to see how he performs.

    An aside – do the commenters on this site actually follow football or do they only care about TMZ-style celebrity gossip? Half the comments are about Stafford’s weight, his hairstyle, and his girlfriend’s appearance.

  10. All I know is that we HAVE to keep him around. No if’s, and’s, or but’s about it. I’ve been watching the Lions for 17 years now and I’ve never seen them have a QB like Stafford. This deal will get done. If not then I’ll lose all hope in this beloved franchise.

  11. He’s going to get a lot of money for being a stud fantasy QB with nice numbers. In real football terms…he can’t win. So what’s he being paid for?

  12. Over the next few years, Stafford will either firmly establish himself into the upper echelon of QBs, or fall flat on his face.

    Either way, the Lions will probably be paying too much, but what choice do they have?

    I’d rather pay 18-20 million per year to a guy who’s pretty good, than 5-7 million to someone who really sucks

  13. Stafford is not worth it. He will never possess the zeal and discipline of a Peyton manning in the film room. Get rid of the backwards cap frat boy.

  14. Tim Tebow throws a better Fade Route than this guy. If Stafford would learn how to throw a Fade Route, Megatron leads the NFL in TD’s every year- Bank on it!

    And this is coming from a die-hard Packer fan.

  15. Thank goodness the days of rookie contracts with 19-20 mil cap numbers are over and done with. Staffords a good QB(in the 4th quarter) but not worth that kind of money.

    Guess we’ll get to see how much less he takes to help field a competitive team, like he said he would. Sure its easy to say but when it comes time to put pen to paper it becomes more difficult to truly take less money.

  16. I had been nervous about Detroit competing much better ever since they drafted Matthew Stafford ………. but then the Lions never seem to end up the year with a very good record ……. even with a very, very good receiver.

    I remember well how Brett Favre turned prospects around in Green Bay very quickly. They didn’t get to the Super Bowl for a while, but the record got noticeably better right away and that happened without changing any of the other players on the offensive team.

    The Favre-type turnaround is what had scared me about Mr. Stafford but it hasn’t happened. As each year passes with him at QB, I’m less and less intimidated by what the Lions might achieve.

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