Bob Quinn: “Long way to go” on a deal for Matthew Stafford


When it comes to a new contract for Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, G.M. Bob Quinn says the two sides have a “long way to go.” In the grand scheme of things, they have a short time to get there.

“Matt has taken this situation with his contract in stride,” Quinn said Saturday, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “It doesn’t bother him, it doesn’t me. I’m confident we’ll get something done. There’s a long way to go on that, but it’s good on both sides.”

Frankly, it shouldn’t take much time to get a deal done. The math is simple. The math doesn’t favor the team, but the math is simple.

Stafford has $16.5 million this year, and he’s in line for a franchise tag of $26.4 million next year, a franchise tag of $31.68 million for 2019, and a franchise tag of $45.162 million for 2020. That’s nearly $120 million over four years, if Stafford chooses to take it one year at a time — and if the Lions choose not to expose Stafford to the open market by not applying the franchise tag in 2018, 2019, or 2020.

So here’s the question: What will it take to get Stafford to trade in the ability to make nearly $120 million through 2020 on a long term deal that would commit him (presumably) through 2020 or beyond? The deeper question is whether he’s willing to give the team a discount in that calculation.

The overriding question is why should he? At a time when more and more NFL players are waking up to the disparity between NFL and NBA pay, why should NFL players even consider doing that which NBA players rarely if ever do, taking less than their leverage dictates under the guise of helping the team pay other players?

As guys like Peyton Manning and Darrelle Revis firmly believed, it’s the team’s obligation to manage the salary cap. The 2011 labor deal makes that easier than ever by locking young players in to substandard deals and allowing teams that know how to properly pick rookies load up the roster with cheap talent.

The last time he negotiated a new deal with the Lions, Stafford didn’t push his leverage as far as he could have. This time, maybe he should. Given Quinn’s comments, maybe Stafford already is — and maybe the Lions have decided to simply wait it out in the hopes that Stafford changes his mind.

22 responses to “Bob Quinn: “Long way to go” on a deal for Matthew Stafford

  1. NBA teams are a 5th the size of NFL teams. The comparison doesn’t work. Here’s what’s going to happen more and more. QBs take up a quarter to a third of their team’s salary cap, lose for 10 years, then complain when they retire that they never won (because their team paid them the entire salary cap each season).

  2. NICE NEW Format.
    I am not sure this is the correct time to get greedy, NFL players
    I honestly believe the NBA is showing what a bunch of greedy players there are. Most of my FF friends and acquaintances have stopped watching NBA games, until the playoffs. Too many games, among many reasons.

  3. It’s funny that you’ve always just assumed that he’s going bend the team over and get every cent he can from them. In reality I believe he has pretty strong loyalty to the organization and realizes that they need some of that money to put good pieces around him

  4. Comparing the NFL with the NBA is ludicrous! Each NBA team pays 15 players vs 53 in the NFL, and the NFL plays 16 games and the NBA plays 82… wanna play 82 games NFL players???? And that’s not counting playoffs……NBA runs from October through April and if you go deep in the playoffs that brings you to June before you get time off! I don’t understand this gripe by the NFL players!

  5. Oh, and be sure to tell him, because of the position the Redskins found themselves in with cousins, under no circumstances will the team be able to tag Stafford. If he doesnt want to deal, then trade his butt for a couple first round picks and start over with a Dak or cheaper QB!!! I mean, what exactly has he won? Teams need to stop overpaying for hope!!!

  6. Trade him… As you can see from my name, I used to believe in the guy. If anyone knows how important it is to play for a good OC, it is MS with his experience under the previous OC. If he is going to put himself above the team, at a time when he hasn’t beaten a winning team consistently, then I’m fine with starting over with a rookie in next years draft. Matt can leave and ruin his legacy in Cleveland for the rest of his career. It is amazing how far Matt and Calvin have fallen in the eyes of Detroit fans. See ya…

  7. This probably will not be a popular comment, but if NFL players want to make more money then they need to either (1) give up more power to the owners during collective bargaining negotiations or (2) agree to expand the season to 17 or 18 games. I think a very elegant solution would be to play a 17 game season in which each team plays eight home games, eight road games, and one international game (London for the east coast teams and Mexico for the west coast teams). An extra game equates to a 6.25% increase in schedule, which should correspond to the same increase in salary cap and player payouts.

  8. That’s easy. You tell him up front. We will NOT tag you. Period. Why is it that these supposed experts do not understand, make him test the market and then he has no choice but to sign the best long-term deal on the table. Leverage back in the hands of the teams where it belongs. The team has to consider the entire team not just some QB who hasn’t even won anything trying to take advantage of the entire team by being over paid and greedy just because they are QB’s!!! NO TAG PERIOD. And things go back to normal.

  9. You only tag a guy when his salary is MORE than the tag. Washington was stupid. How many other teams really want to find themselves in the mess they have made. Neither Stafford, nor Cousins have even won a single playoff game in their entire careers for goodness sake. They both have proven they can lose a playoff game if you get them there. Season wasted, oh well, “Give me a 10 Million dollar raise!!!” They should be ashamed of even milking a team when their playoff record is so abysmal. You people had better stop focusing on regular season. After all regular season means you play half below 500 teams. Pay closer attention to their records against winning teams. That is the statistic that is most important IF you want to win playoff games. Because those above 500 teams ramp it up even in the playoffs and you usually have to handle some killer defenses.

  10. “guys like Peyton Manning and Darrelle Revis firmly believed, it’s the team’s obligation to manage the salary cap”
    Isn’t that what Detroit is doing by not paying a middle third QB top 5 money?
    Add Brees to Manning and Revis, but here’s the thing about those three, they only won in the past ten years when they were on team friendly deals. Elway repeatedly squeezed Manning, Revis had inflated numbers for a fake two year deal with the Patriots, Brees’ teams have sucked since he started cashing in on his SB win.

  11. Given the severe shortage of some what below average QBs, all QBs can demand a lot because the alternative is a terrible QB like Mark Sanchez who will cost you 4 extra losses.
    As long as there is a shortage of QBs, they can demand huge contracts. The difference between an average QB like Andy Dalton and a terrible one like Mark Sanchez is probably 4 wins a year if not more. If there were 10 more QBs who were “almost as good as” Andy Dalton, then teams could decide to pay one of them 10MM rather than a somewhat above average QB 25-30MM.
    Until then expect to pay up big time for QBs.

  12. pastabelly says:
    August 5, 2017 at 12:23 pm
    Why would his deal be that much different from the one that Carr got?

    Leverage and risk. Carr was headed into a contract year that would have had him risking his future earning ability for just under $1M, the team was able to leverage that last underpaid year of his rookie contract. With $111M in cash earnings under his belt and a 2018 tag value of $26.4M Stafford is in the drivers seat

  13. When NFL players are getting paid like NBA players, just remember the Man who started it all was a Washington Redskin. #TrendSettingOrganization

  14. I bet he gets paid a ton, but in the end isn’t a pig abut it — Stafford seems like a pretty good and realistic guy. I’d be very surprised if his contract situation doesn’t work out. Oh, and again, he’s got the largest NFL QB cranium since Jim Plunket.

  15. I find it ironic that NFL players are constantly complaining about their salaries. Fact…the average NFL salary is $1.9M per year. When you compare that to the average median household income in the US of ~$55K, why are they complaining. They make nearly 35 times much as an average household. In other words, that’s what most people will make in their entire lives. I know some team will break the bank for him but let’s be honest, paying someone $25M to play a game is ridiculous. It’s too bad more of that money can’t be spread around for teachers and people who actually do make a difference. Most of these guys are going to be broke when they retire anyway.

  16. It’s a business. Allegiance is not owed. You think the team would keep paying him if his skills heacily eroded? You can lose everything in a single play in this league. We aren’t talking fans of teams here who have loyalty. We are talking employees who should have none. Mone is given to them either.

    Take as much as you can get, kid. People want capitalism? So be it.

  17. stafford needs to read left, see megatron is not there; then, follow calvin out of the stadium.

  18. There is way too much money involved in professional sports, including for a lot of them people that do the reporting. The by product of all of this is, the average person can no longer afford to attend a professional sporting event.

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