Thanks to signing an NFL-record five-year $135 million extension thru the 2022-23 season, Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford joined some elite company. The question is, is he one of them?
The deal which has an annual value of $27 million, a $50 million signing bonus, $60.5 million guaranteed, including an NFL record $92 million over a three-year period, and one can argue that the 29-year-old Stafford is a worthy investment.
The former 2009 NFL Draft top overall pick out Georgia, who has started every game since 2011, has passed for 278 yards per game in his eight full years in Detroit, 27,501 yards since 2011, an average of 4,583 yards a season and the most four-quarter/overtime comebacks than any player (25) since his rookie year.
Gaudy numbers aside, Stafford’s career record of 51-58-0 and a 0-3 record in the post-season, gives some cause for head-scratching in paying a quarterback with a sub .500 record with no playoff wins that much money.
His annual salary of $27 million puts him above Derek Carr, Tom Brady and longtime nemesis, Aaron Rodgers. Apologies to Carr, but both Rodgers and Brady have proven to be worth more money due to their combined Super Bowls and post-season success.
In terms of being an “elite” quarterback, Stafford is definitely worth mentioned in that conversation due to his stats alone—thank you Megatron!—but getting paid like like due to a lack of post-season success, sets a bad example.
Names like Andy Dalton, Joe Flacco are often debated all across social media in regards to elite status. While Flacco has a Super Bowl title to his resume, he belongs in that good-above average, not quite medicore category that Dalton resides in.
Stafford is barely above that level, and personally I feel that while he is a very good quarterback, he is not one of the great quarterbacks, like the fore-mentioned Brady, Rodgers, Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger.
Unless Detroit sees something that I don’t, I feel that the Lions made a grave mistake in overpaying for an otherwise borderline great quarterback in Stafford.