Stafford on McNabb’s contract criticism: “I understand his point”


Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is avoiding a war of words with Donovan McNabb.

McNabb, the former Eagles, Redskins and Vikings quarterback, said on NFL Network that Stafford hasn’t earned his new contract. Stafford responded on ESPN Radio that he’s fine with McNabb expressing that opinion, and he agrees with McNabb’s belief that Stafford needs to lead the Lions to more wins.

I understand his point of view,” Stafford said, via the Detroit Free Press. “I totally get that. I’m all about wins and losses as well . . . it didn’t happen for us last year.”

Stafford says he realizes that as the quarterback of a team coming off a 4-12 record, there are going to be questions about whether he really deserves to be making more than $15 million a year.

“That’s something that’s obviously extremely important, especially playing the quarterback position,” Stafford said. “You get the praise when you win and all the loss on your shoulders when you lose. It’s just the name of the game. I totally understand Donovan’s point of view, but at the same time . . . I’m trying to please the Lions and my teammates and my coaches and nobody else. So people can say what they want to say, but as long as the guys in that locker room and that building believe in me, then that’s all that matters.”

Stafford is smart to keep his focus on what his teammates and his coaches think, and to respond to any outside criticism with his play.

83 responses to “Stafford on McNabb’s contract criticism: “I understand his point”

  1. No you don’t Matt, Mcnabb is an idiot and should learn to keep his (never one a damn thing) idiotic mouth shut!

  2. The lions only options were to let Stafford become a free agent, franchise him, or sign him to a deal he was agreeable to. They wisely chose the latter.

    It’s not Stafford’s fault that the Lions can’t stop their opponents from scoring.

  3. Gee, he left out “the Lions fans” in his “trying to please” list. You know, the people who actually pay his big contract.

  4. I’m curious what his response to this criticism would be if he didn’t have “Megatron” to throw to….

  5. McNabb will do and/or say anything to keep himself relevant. He is a bitter, jealous, angry old man.

  6. Stafford went on to say “hey if a guy like McNabb who was fat and horribly out of shape the last few years he played, was either too lazy or too stupid to learn the play books of the teams he went to after the Eagles, a guy who failed repeatedly in the biggest games of his career, if a guy like that thinks I didn’t earn my contract it must be true.”

    Stafford then asked how much of the money McNabb didn’t earn the last few years he played that Donovan was returning to those teams.

  7. I do too, McNabb is an over rated passer that once he lost his legs was a terrible qb. Now he thinks he should judge other qbs. Just go away McNabb.

    Stafford is a passer and can get better, will he? Time will tell.

    McNabb time was too long and long since been up, go away.

  8. Yeah, well, the players that came before McNabb would say he didn’t deserve what he earned either. Seriously, when did McNabb become such a little byatch.

  9. certainly don’t want to criticize mcnabb…might hurt his feeling…..and we know how the quick the media would be to defend him.

  10. Stafford should have said:

    A) I’ll never barf in a super bowl

    B) Sorry I don’t just make $100 K a year doing soup commercials

    C) A least I didn’t lose my job to Mike Vick

  11. Extremely smart move by Stafford. Not falling all over McNabb’s statement by taking the high rise was his best bet. Not only does he avoid an argument, he looks like a Quarterback that is 100% about doing his part and is not afraid to shoulder some blame. Lions Fans should be happy with their Franchise QB, I know I would be.

  12. It’s a good thing McNabb didn’t say that Stafford was over-rated, wasn’t “that good” a QB, and that the Lions defense carried this team.

    If McNabb had said that, he’d make a whole lot of Congressman so mad that they’d call the NFL Network and demand that McNabb be fired.

  13. McNabb’s just bitter because the first time he lost to Stafford (he was 0-2 against him) he got benched in the 4th quarter (for Rex Grossman) because he was too incompetent and out of shape to run the two-minute drill.

  14. I don’t know whether he will reach his potential or not, but I’m mute than willing to stand behind him and let him have every chance. The kid is classy, works his tail off and won’t ever quit. With that arm and that approach, just hope he takes the next step.

  15. I just don’t get this for McNabb. Stop complaining and whining about the game you no longer play for a living. For some reason, even before he left the Eagles and the real madness began, people never truly credited him for how good a player he really was, 1 season with a legitimate passing target and he makes the superbowl and comes within a field goal of winning it while playing with a serious rib injury. If that’s the Donovan he wants remembered, he really needs to stop this nonsense, and SHUT UP

  16. Why does anyone pay any attention to what McNabb says? I guess that in his last two years in the league, McNabb might have become on expert on what constitutes an undeserved salary.

  17. In all my years watching the NFL, it does appear that Stafford is the best or at least most promising of Lions QBs. Remember Eric Hipple?

    However, unlike McNabb, he is not a winner. It may be the curse of the Lions. A good fantasy QB is different than a good NFL QB.

  18. I think I read somewhere that before the extension, Stafford had two years left on his rookie deal. So objectively if that is true the Lions could have waited another year before extending him, God knows he wasn’t getting pennies under that contract as th e first overall pick of the draft. That said, you can’t blame the Lions for locking him up for a few more years. Some teams are always looking for a QB so if you get a solid young one, you will always have a chance to compete and you’d better make sure he is there for you to build around. The Lions still have quite a way to go as far as that goes but Stafford definitely hasn’t been the problem there.

  19. Why would Stafford — or anyone for that matter — give McNabb the time of day.

  20. McNabb made a very reasonable statement, nothing outrageous or malicious in any way. Donovan has never been guilty of saying or doing ANYTHING that would be considered significantly inappropriate by any standards. He’s not a piece of sh*t like many of you hateful commenters clearly are, and he has every right to chime in on Stafford’s contract just like you do.

    I know it’s the popular thing to do, because you know, everyone’s doing it…but the endless hatred I see thrown at McNabb is so unwarranted, and undeserving of someone who literally isn’t guilty of any wrongdoing whatsoever. I have exponentially more respect for Donovan than I do for those of you who are content with endlessly spewing hatred just for the sake of hate. Just drive your car off a cliff already…

  21. “I understand his point of view” = “I could care less what this overrated know-it-all bonehead has to say”.

  22. 8to80texansblog says:
    Jul 12, 2013 2:28 PM
    He’s a good QB… not elite… take away Calvin and he’s middle of the pack at best.

    As it turns out, even if you don’t have an elite QB, it’s still pretty hard to find a good one. As young as Stafford is, the Lions should believe that they can put the pieces around him to help him reach that next level.

  23. 15 mil a year for an average at best qb. Without the best wide out in the game the guy is sub-par.

    5000 yards……4 wins = huge payday Only the lions would overpay so badly.
    Its why they are almost always in the cellar of their division.

  24. Great answer for Stafford, no one knows if he’ll reach elite status, but he’s good, and has Megatron so the future can be very bright…. Two quick side notes, for anyone that believes that “fan ticket sales” pay players salaries, it’s cool you still live in 1965 but try and keep up with 2013 where TV and Advertising pay for 90% of salaries and operations…. These guys owe you nothing and we as fans owe these teams and players nothing… They make great money because of the millions of people watching TV, the ticket sales and concessions basically pay for the cost of opening up a stadium and hiring the people that work there. Second point, I grew up rooting for McNabb, he took a lot of heat in Philly and I think that has turned him in to a bitter man… What were the Lions supposed to do Donny?… Not pay one of the 10 best QBs in the league where QB play determines all? He’s just trying to stay in the headlines

  25. Where is TO? We need him to come out and punk McNabb out and shut him up! Wasnt talkin like that when TO was getting in your ISH!

  26. Wish Stafford said it comes down to winning championships. Something McNabb never did and got paid anyway.

  27. Did Stafford really say that?

    He should have told McNabb ro take a can of Chunky soup and to stick it where the sub don’t shine.

    That is really none of McNuggett’s biz to be commenting on. Salary structures change over time.

    McNuggett, you were drafted in 1999. Ib case you hadn’t noticed…The World has changed since then.

    You don’t see Tim Couch talking smack…

  28. McNabb was the worst good player in the NFL. In his last 5 years he never hit anyone in stride. I never saw a guy throw more 3 yard outs at the tight end’s feet.

    Plus he was woefully out of shape

  29. Stafford has class unlike Mcbarf. If McPuke had to toil all those years in Detroit, as opposed to Andy Reid’s well designed offenses, he would have been out of the league in three years. He still only managed one 30 td pass year.

  30. Maybe McNabb and Moon should start a consulting company since they have words for everything.

  31. Stafford’s approach should be “hush media, former players, and wanna-bes. As long as my team believes in me, Calvin continues to break records, Reggie runs loose, and my passing yards keep rivaling Drew Brees’ numbers, then the Lions will improve with me at the helm.”

  32. I understand that Donovan McNabb was not a great quarterback but why the uproar over his comments?

    Matthew Stafford was paid big money when he was drafted first overall and he hasn’t done anything for the Detroit Lions.

    I understand in today’s football that numbers are important but if it comes in place of winning it doesn’t matter.

    If you compare the careers of McNabb and Stafford I think the criticism is warranted.

    Stafford hasn’t made the playoffs once as a quarterback and though I will admit the talent that surrounds him isn’t the best he still hasn’t provided the spark you expect from a quarterback making top $.

    McNabb was surrounded by throw-aways during his time in Philadelphia if you consider: Todd Pinkston, James Thrash, Freddie Mitchell, Reggie Brown, Greg Lewis and Hank Baskett.

    McNabb’s best season came when he was equipped with Terrell Owens and the results were huge though a disappointing loss in the Super Bowl. Also, Brian Westbrook did play a huge role which has been the downfall of the Detroit Lions.

    But, would you rather have a proven and retired quarterback comment or Chris Mortensen and/or Bill Simmons?

  33. Matt doesn’t have anything to apologize for.

    He is the best most consistent Lions quarterback in nearly 50 years. For a franchise to not have any success at the position for that long his signing is a must. Here are some of the records he holds from Wikipedia:

    NFL records
    Most passing touchdowns in a single game by a rookie quarterback: 5
    Youngest quarterback to throw 5 or more touchdowns in a single game (21 years, 288 days)
    First player in NFL history to throw for 1,500 yards and 14 TDs over a 4 game span: (2011, Weeks 14-17)
    Most games with at least one touchdown pass in a season: 16 (2011, tied NFL record)
    Most consecutive 350+ yards passing games: 4 (2011-2012, tied with Drew Brees)
    Most yards thrown in a single game without a touchdown pass: (443, 12/22/2012)
    Most passing attempts in a season: 727 (2012)
    Most games with 40+ pass attempts in a season: 13 (2012)
    Lions franchise records
    Highest Passer Rating in a Single Season – 97.2 (2011)
    Most Passing Yards in a Single Season: 5,038 (2011)[37]
    Most Passing Yards in a Game: 520 (1/1/12 vs. Green Bay Packers)
    Most 4,000 passing yard seasons, career – 2 (tied with Jon Kitna)
    Most consecutive seasons, 4,000 yards passing – 2 (2011-2012) (tied with Jon Kitna)
    Most 400+ Yards Passing Games, Career: 5 (2009-2012)
    Most 300+ Yards Passing Games, Career: 17 (2009-2012)
    Most 300+ Yards Passing Games: 8 (2011 and 2012)
    Most Games 1+ TD Passes, Season: 16 (2011)
    Most Passing Touchdowns in a Single Season: 41 (2011)[37]
    Most Passing Touchdowns in a Game: 5
    Most Passing Attempts in a Single Season: 727 (2012)[37]
    Most Passing Attempts in a Game: 63 (11/13/11 vs. Chicago Bears)
    Most Career Pass Completions – 1,114 (2009-2012)
    Most Passing Completions in a Single Season: 435 (2012)
    Highest Completion Percentage in a Single Season by Starting QB: 63.5 (2011) (16 starts)[37]
    Most 4th Quarter Comeback Wins, Career: 8 (tied with Greg Landry)
    Most 4th Quarter Comeback Wins in Single Season: 3 (2011) (tied with 4 others)[37]
    Most Game Winning Drives, Career: 9 (tied with Gary Danielson)

  34. Stafford got paid because there just aren’t very many decent QB’s out there right now. All but maybe 5 or 6 teams would give anything to have Stafford behind center. Whats the alternative for the Lions? draft and develope someone else and wait another 5 years while he learns the offense. That would be foolish.

    If the Lions have a problem its with their punk head coach. He’ll be gone if they don’t make the playoffs this year.

  35. 8to80texansblog says:
    Jul 12, 2013 2:28 PM
    He’s a good QB… not elite… take away Calvin and he’s middle of the pack at best.

    Considering who you cheer for you should know very well about “middle of the pack” qb’s

  36. This toad had 1% better completion percentage, and 1.5 point higher passer rating than Blaine Gabbert last season. Worse Td/Int ratio. Throwing to the best wide receiver in the game and a pair of the top pass catching tight ends.

  37. Remove Stafford from the 6* QBs with the most passing yards in 2012 and you’ll find that the percentage of receiving yardage by each QBs top receiver is about 27.5%.
    In 2011, with most receiving targets healthy, Johnson accounted for 33% of Stafford’s passing yards.
    In 2012, with most of his receiving targets injured/insane, Johnson accounted for 40% of Stafford’s passing yards.

    2011 was acceptable given that you have the best receiver in the game at your disposal so, yeah, you pass to him more often. 2012 was an anomaly based on the loss of Stafford’s #2-4 receiving options.

    *I didn’t do 10 because I’m lazy. You get top 5 excluding Stafford.

  38. Nothing to criticize here, people. Stafford knows he needs to play better and at the same time obtained a contract that fell within the range of what the market dictates. While his on field performance needs to improve he has always conducted himself off the field with dignity and class and his response to Mcnabb was perfect.

  39. Top pass catching TE’s? Apparently you weren’t watching when Pettigrew dropped 75% of the balls thrown to him. And have you ever wondered what Megatron would be like without Stafford? That works both ways you know…

  40. @thegreatgabbert – and yet when they went head to head, the Lions came out with a 31-14 win. How is Gabbert so great again?

  41. si1m says:
    Jul 12, 2013 3:23 PM
    McNabb is like the most insecure ex-player I’ve ever seen
    More so than the great Mercury Morris?

  42. Look at all the horrible Philly fans ripping Donovan McNabb. Oh wait….

    Btw, as an analyst for NFL network who also happens to be a former pro bowl QB, Donovan was asked a question and believe it or not, gets paid to give his opinions in response. But please don’t let logic get in the way of your blind hate.

  43. Good answers from Stafford.

    He didn’t have to include the fans. He works for his teammates and the guy who signs his checks. I’d bet you’re the kind of guy who thinks because you buy a ticket, that gives you the right to act like an a-hole, huh?

  44. I’m not sure I’d have included the “most yards in a game without a touchdown pass” in that list of records. That seems like a bad thing.

    Stafford is correct to take it on the chin. Cashing in after a 4-12 season is a little bit hard to stomach. But, the contract wasn’t earned on how he performed in the past. The contract is based upon how they feel he is going to perform in the coming years.

    It seems like he’s looking at it correctly and is going to head out an attempt to earn that contract instead of resting on his laurels.

  45. Stafford is the man. High class and very mature. He’s worth the contract. And unlike many players who get a contract, he will try and re pay it by trying to get better every day.

  46. To the Stafford haters out there, the man has thrown for 6,360 yards in the last two seasons to guys not named Calvin Johnson, and none of those guys were Pro Bowl-calibre players, so I think he’s earned his cash.

  47. ColtsWinColtsWin!! says: Jul 12, 2013 2:19 PM

    No you don’t Matt, Mcnabb is an idiot and should learn to keep his (never one a damn thing) idiotic mouth shut!

    Hate on McNabb all you want but he was a starting QB for YEARS in the NFL and has accomplished more in a life time then you ever could. Point being: He is allowed to have an opinion even without a super bowl ring.

  48. Awesome response by Stafford. Not sure he could have handled it much better. Maybe Sanchez can learn something about handling criticism from him.

  49. daysend564 says:
    Jul 12, 2013 3:23 PM

    Romo has never led his team to 4-12.


    Or anything substantive for that matter.

  50. And his response to McNabb’s comments is why he commands respect in the Leos locker room and why his teammates love him.

    Can you imagine Kapaenick being so eloquent?

  51. Media: Unless you win a super bowl you suck.

    Drew Brees: Matt and I have had similar numbers each year. Good thing my ring shields me from their scorn.

  52. By definition, you “deserve” whatever you get. The free market sets the price for QBs. It’s not determined by some committee led by Donovan McNabb.

    This whole “you didn’t earn your contract” business is nonsense in a capatalistic society where prices and wages are set by supply and demand..

  53. And that is why he got the contract, and not you. He knows when to shut the hell up.

  54. I can understand the criticism of Stafford, Schaub, Romo and Cutler for not winning it all or winning playoff games every year. What I wonder is this: Ok, you don’t like this QB. So then, who are you going to get that’s BETTER to replace him?
    People act like there is a large pool of elite free agent QBs and that their team just won’t spring for the upgrade. Stafford IS NOT Aaron Rodgers, sure. But he IS the best QB Detroit has and the best QB available for them to sign even if he isn’t “elite”.

  55. You make a great point, Donovan! I don’t understand why people have such a problem with your views.


    Chris Carter

  56. This site LIVES for this type of response. A guy with a losing record gets a big deal, and this site isn’t foaming to rip it apart?!

    1-23 and we get THAT sob story? Those quotes are batting practice for you guys…

    “Stafford is smart to keep his focus on what his teammates and his coaches think, and to respond to any outside criticism with his play.”

    In 24 NFL starts against winning teams, you win a couple by default. Even Tarvaris Jackson has a couple wins against the 2008 Cardinals and Giants…

  57. I understand too, but People did not like hearing what Donovan McNabb had to say because he is not that good on TV. He is bland and has no personality.

    After possibly conning us into thinking that he was this victim as an interviewee his interview moments of a lovability have not been one bit visible on screen.

    In addition, he left the game likely viewed as a phony with caricature-like expressions and catchy quotes who threw his career away.

    With all of that said no one respects him as a broadcaster and he might be viewed worse than Tiki Barber.

  58. While I dont understand why McNabb would bring up Matthew’s contract. the name McNabb still has the words playoff team connected to it. 5 NFC championship games and 9 strait years of playoffs all with McNabb at starting QB. with NO support. the Eagles fans Booed him from the day he was drafted. McNabb still took them to the Superbowl.
    McNabb is a QB that played away games his whole career cause he never had a home crowd. Just sayin

  59. You are all forgetting the reason the Lions had to get this taken care of even with 2 years remaining on the old contract ” 2013 20.8 mil cap hit”. Now 2013 is 17.8 mil and 15.8mil in 2014. Even with all the offseason signing the Lions have made now they still have 4.9mil cap space left to sign still one or two more good player. Smart move by everyone involved, except McNabb.

  60. Please remember he’s playing for a team that recently set a record for losses, including a 0-16 season. He’s had to perform with an aging O line that could not always protect him, and they’ve had virtually no running game. He’s set all these records against defenses that always got to play pass first.
    If you are not a Lions fan you do not know the level of frustration we have endured for the last 50+ years. (Maybe Cleveland fans get it too! Go Browns!)
    Mathew is, by far the best QB we’ve had since Greg Landry. The last time we had a “best player in the league” we had a coach that didn’t know how to use him, and a QB that was a joke!
    For the record he DID lead this team to a playoff game. One playoff win in over 50 years! Do you get it now?!!!

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