The Detroit Lions are still trying to get a new long term deal done with QB Matthew Stafford before the start of the 2013 regular season. Despite still having two years remaining on his rookie contract, the Lions are hoping to get a deal done sooner rather than later.
After being plagued with numerous injuries early in his career, Stafford has been able to remain healthy the last two seasons and has illustrated why the Lions drafted the Georgia product so high. Playing just 13 games in his first two seasons, Stafford has not missed a game in the last two years while throwing for just under 10,000 yards and 61 touchdowns.
Speaking to reporters, team president Tom Lewand said that if a deal is not reached prior to the start of the season, the Lions will wait until after the 2013 season in order to reach a new deal. “We’ll either get a deal done or we’ll focus on football.” Lewand expressed to reporters that he believes Stafford knows the Lions commitment to him and their desire to make him the team’s quarterback for several seasons to come.
After being drafted in 2009, the Lions gave Stafford a six-year deal worth $72 million with $41.25 million in guaranteed money. He is scheduled to make $12.5 million this season.
There is some upside risk for the Lions if the two sides do not reach an agreement before the start of this season. If Stafford returns to his 2011 form (5,038 yards, 41 touchdowns), then his price tag will certainly increase. The downside of course for Stafford is if he returns to his form early in his career and misses considerable time due to injury next season.
While he won’t see Peyton Manning, Tom Brady type money, he should command a hefty price tag but Stafford recently told reporters that he isn’t too concerned about the money. He is reportedly looking for “fair market value” and not too concerned about a record breaking contract.
“I want talent around me. There’s opportunities. Everywhere in the league you see guys breaking records with how much they’re making and all that stuff, and honestly, you want fair market value. I really don’t care about breaking records too much. I want to break records on the field.”
Stafford will likely receive over $50 million in guaranteed money.