Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford’s contract extension went from reported to actual on Wednesday morning when Stafford put his name on the dotted line of the new contract.
It was a lucrative signature for Stafford as the contract pays him $27.5 million as a signing bonus that’s part of $43 million in guaranteed money over the three years of the extension that, when combined with the two years left on his current deal, will keep him in Detroit through the 2017 season. Stafford met with reporters after signing and said that he thought the deal was a win for both sides.
Tim Twentyman of the team’s website reports that Stafford said he was glad to be able to help the team’s cap situation by signing the extension, saying that he “wanted to do what was right for the club.” The deal was also right for Stafford in terms of both the money he’ll earn through the life of the deal and the chance to sign another deal before his 30th birthday, something he admitted he was excited about on Wednesday. Lions president Tom Lewand said he appreciated Stafford’s efforts in getting the deal done.
“Matthew really drove this process,” Lewand said. “Without his active involvement and leadership I don’t think we’re standing here talking.”
With the contract out of the way, Stafford and the Lions are now free to work on improving the team’s 1-22 record in games started by Stafford against teams that finished the year with a winning record. If they can’t do that, there will likely be a new regime running the show in Detroit before Stafford’s next negotiation and things might not work out with so many smiles on both sides.