Stafford on track for another new deal in three years


Last week, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford signed a new contract with two years left on his rookie deal.  Careful inspection of the details of the new agreement suggests that the Lions most likely will need to extend the deal once again in only three years.

The fairly obvious clues come from the cap numbers.  After $17.8 million in 2013, $15.8 million in 2014, and $17.7 million in 2015, the charge spikes to $22.5 million in 2016 and $22 million in 2017.

Absent a dramatic increase in the salary cap by 2016, $22.5 million will remain too much for the Lions to carry under Stafford’s name, especially with Calvin Johnson’s second contract (and, possibly, Ndamukong Suh’s) on the books.

By 2016, Stafford will have earned $43 million.  Which means that he traded $23.5 million in non-guaranteed cash over the next three years for an extra $19.5 million, with all $43 million essentially guaranteed.  (Technically, only $41.5 million of the new contract is guaranteed, but there are no offsets as to any of the guaranteed money, which means as a practical matter he’ll get the full $43 million.)

The question then becomes how much the Lions will give Stafford in guaranteed money as he trades in $33.5 million in non-guaranteed pay he’s due to earn in 2016 and 2017.

Either way, he’ll be with the Lions over the long haul, and he’ll emerge in three years $43 million richer.  That’s not much less than he would have made by playing out his contract and spending one year under the franchise tag, but none of it was guaranteed before last week.  Now, he’s destined to pocket another $43 million.

14 responses to “Stafford on track for another new deal in three years

  1. Detroit will never win anything paying that guy Monopoly Money, 60 mill guaranteed for the games best WR and another 40 for a not proven QB…Cap Hell in a few years!

  2. ccjcsr:

    You are absolutely right. Pay no attention to the dislikes you get because people in general just like to dislike those that complain or whine about real problems that they want to remain in denial about.

    We have extremely horrible cap shape (go look at the future year spreadsheets on the net; it speaks for itself) for the long-term and weak player infrastructure beyond the few giant money deals and it’s a really bad mix. They need a serious reconfiguration overhaul if they ever want to have a shot at greatness. We have already wasted a lot of CJ’s years and we could have been winning championships with him all this time.

    That was OUR time to win and nobody in the NFL had better position than us at a couple of key recent junctures in the past. We voluntarily delivered so much incompetence that we eliminated ourselves from being the hands-down best team in the NFL. We didn’t make our opponents beat our greatness, we shriveled up into a state of mediocrity and invited everybody to walk all over us when we had the best position to dictate which team shall take the lead!

  3. This makes me wonder what the heck the Panthers are going to do. I have a feeling they will want to lock Newton up way before his rookie contract expires in a couple of years. And lets not forget that Newton didn’t get Stafford or Bradford rookie contracts.

    Basically what I am saying is Cam Newton is on pace to get the biggest contract of all time.

    These qb contracts are killing their team’s chances of signing their other players or attracting free agents.

    Don’t be surprised if the in the coming years teams start spending big on other positions on the field and roll players; thus making the average “system qb’s” more attractive.

  4. Admittedly, the Lions are experts at kicking the cap can down the road. Well, that and making lousy 2nd round draft picks. . . . .

  5. purpleguy says:
    Jul 19, 2013 1:40 PM
    Admittedly, the Lions are experts at kicking the cap can down the road. Well, that and making lousy 2nd round draft picks. . . . .

    I’ll take that over having Christian Ponder as my starting quarterback all day every day.

  6. purpleguy:

    You’re right, our 2nd rounders are often some major headscratchers. Remember Ikaika Alama-Francis and Gerald Alexander? Those were some older picks, but how about Jordan Dizon and Drew Stanton? I actually didn’t mind the Stanton pick until I found out they had no intention to ever even try to play with him. In my mind that opened the flex door to dumping off our current QB and having a gamble prospect, and I so badly wanted to dump our starting QB at the time. And still do. But to pick Stanton and then let him waste away, arrggh!

    I don’t think it’s a phenomenon that our 2nd Round picks are head scratchers sometimes. I think we just have a warped logic for how we go about filling out a roster and I can see and understand the logic that goes into making the choices, so it’s no mystery to me in understanding how they think. The problem is the thought process they go through that I think is severely flawed from a logic and conceptual standpoint, and it’s that very conundrum that holds us back from making smart picks.

  7. The Lions really screwed up on this one.
    He’ll be even more in expensive in 3 yrs after he wins the Super Bowl. Geeez. Way to go Detroit.

  8. thestrategyexpert says:
    Jul 19, 2013 3:21 PM

    “You’re right…I think WE just have a warped logic for how WE go about filling out a roster and I can see and understand the logic that goes into making the choices…blah, blah…”
    WE, huh? Didn’t know that we had the pleasure of Martin Mayhew chiming in. Far as Purpleguy, last time I checked, the Lions and Vikings have exactly the same number of Lombardi Trophies.

  9. The strategyguy obviously knows nothing about the NFL the whole league has salary problems in yrs to Come that’s why so many players restructure their contracts the end of the year get used to it this is the new NFL good players cost money would you have rather been the Dallas Cowboys who gave that kind of money to a player who’s 8yrs older and doesn’t have nearly the potential that Stafford has he has all the tools to be a top 5 QB in this league you also have to remember last year was only his second fullseason I’m sure you were the same person calling him “a paper QB” as well he’s already broke almost every lions QB record and this year will probably have them all your obviously not a true lions fan or you would be thanking god for Matthew Stafford after suffering threw Charlie Batch and Joey Harrington I could go on and on but I’d rather not ill end with this the Detroit Lions are a legitimate Super Bowl contender with Matthew Stafford at QB without him their a 4 win team maybe !!!!!!!!!

  10. Stay healthy! This has been Staffords biggest challenge. I see him being a Brett Favre type QB risky throws that either turn into picks or huge plays, but I like that. Healthy? Easily a top ten QB. Top 5? Probably not but he could creep in depending how the other elites do. Be interesting to see how things shape up with Brady and all the changes in NE. Peyton = money in the bank. Same for Eli, Aaron, Matt Ryan, RG3 and Maybe Dew Brees. Following that group Stafford, Luck and Russel Wilson. Cam Newton not in my top ten but you never know with him. He might explode and it will be man amongst boys with that guy again.

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