Stafford says he’s playing for wins, not contract


Over the weekend, Lions president Tom Lewand said the team was working on a new contract for quarterback Matthew Stafford, hoping to get one done before the start of the season.

But after regressing last year, and watching the team fall to 4-12, Stafford said he wanted his focus to be on playing better.

I don’t play this game to get contracts,” Stafford said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “I play this game to win games and that’s the way I’ve always felt about it. Whether it gets done or it doesn’t, there would be no distractions.”

Last year there were plenty, as his numbers reflected the team’s own tailspin.

He went from 41 touchdowns and a 97.2 rating for a 10-win team to 20 touchdowns and a 79.8 rating for a four-win team.

That made the negativity hard to miss.

“It’s impossible not to hear it just because I watch SportsCenter like everybody else and I’m a person, too, but it’s not the main fuel” Stafford said. “The main fuel for me is I want to keep progressing in the right direction, I want to be a great quarterback and I want to be able to help this team win, and the only way I’m going to be able to do that is if I let nothing get in my way and just concentrate on what I’m supposed to concentrate on and get better at what I need to get better at.”

That kind of attitude is why the Lions are willing to hitch their financial futures to him.

“He’s evolved into a leader,” Lewand said. “Now when rookies walk into the locker room they see a quarterback who’s been here four years and they see a different guy who occupies a different spot on the team and a lot of that is because of his own efforts.

“I don’t think we have a guy on our roster who’s worked harder than he has, and I’m not sure that you’ll find a guy who cares more than he does about this team and about winning, and about his teammates.”

That’s why they want to reward him, but Stafford wants to make sure he’s earning it, first.

14 responses to “Stafford says he’s playing for wins, not contract

  1. Darin, I don’t know if you received the memo or not bu Lions articles are supposed to be written in jest with mocking undertones. This was far too positive. Next time…next time.

  2. Que the people saying Stafford is only good since Megatron. Stafford is one of the better qbs in the league and he still has a ton of upside. Now only if he could get a half way decent running game…

  3. I think it’s easy to forget how snakebitten the Lions receiving corps was last year. Stafford was working with Calvin and a bunch of scrubs and no running game.

    No wonder his numbers were down. Calvin is great and Stafford still threw for near 5,000 yards, but one player can only do so much.

  4. I feel like I must have hit my head. Did someone just write a positive article about a member of the Lions? Did the site get hacked, or something?

  5. I could tell without looking that this wasn’t an MDS post because the last sentence didn’t consist of a snide cheap shot at the Lions

  6. Stafford hasn’t come close to earning the money he has already been paid and there’s no practical way for him to make up for it and to also earn all of the money the Lions are likely to soon dump on him. He is arguably going to be the most overpaid player in team history after this next contract gets added into the equation.

  7. “I play this game to win games and that’s the way I’ve always felt about it…”

    Said the man with a career W-L record of 17-28.

  8. Good point “larryboodry”???????????????

    Hes doing what he has to do to win. He doesnt want to worry about a silly contract and his players and FANS will definitely afford him some respect for that. Would you also critisize him if he was missing practice in order to hammer out a deal with the lions? I think you would.

    Pay Attention

  9. @erikd55:

    I am paying attention…And yeah, if he – or any player on the Bears, for that matter – was missing practice to concentrate on a new deal, I’d find fault with that…Especially if the current deal still had two years lefton it.

    That said, I’m not criticizing Stafford for not wanting his contract status to be a distraction, I was basically just trash-talking…Stafford is undoubtedly talented, and puts up pretty stats, but still the Lions lose…Is that all on him? No, but he’s had CJ to throw to his whole career, and at some point he needs to learn how to win games with the talent around him. (And to be fair, that’s part of what he’s saying here.)

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