Matthew Stafford's Contract Only Includes $17 Million Guaranteed

As soon as news came out that Matthew Stafford agreed to a deal with the Lions, we found out that nearly $42 million of his contract was guaranteed.  That figure was a record for guaranteed money, and as you can imagine, many were upset that he got such a big contract.  Well, as it turns out, Stafford is only absolutely guaranteed to receive around $17 million.  Chances are he will end up receiving most of the originally-reported $42 million, but there are incentives he has to achieve and an option for the 2014 season that has to be picked up by the Lions in order for that to happen.  Technically, the money he could end up getting isn't actually guaranteed, but again, it is unlikely that he won't end up gettting it.

Why is there such a difference in what was originally reported compared to what we now know?  Well, AdamJT13 put together a thorough breakdown of Stafford's contract that reveals just how complex an NFL contract is.  Stafford's base salary over the years will change based on whether or not the Lions exercise his 2014 option and whether or not Stafford hits performance and playing time incentives.  The qualifiers based on playing time don't have to be achieved in the first year.  The performance-related incentives in the contract can change how much money Stafford makes, but it appears that the playing time qualifiers are more related to the $42 million figure.

This is all pretty complicated, but to put it in layman's terms, these qualifiers and the 2014 option basically protect the Lions in case Stafford turns out to be the bust of all busts.  For Stafford to only receive $17 million, he would have to never meet his playing time incentives, not have his option picked up for the 2014 season, and be cut in 2013 (if I'm understanding this correctly).  Busts at the quarterback position usually get a chance to play before they are actually declared a bust, which is why the guaranteed number has been reported to be $42 million.  It would be surprising if Stafford didn't meet his playing time qualifiers, and I doubt the Lions will not pick up his 2014 option (they have to make a decision on the option in 2010).

Bust or not, down the road, chances are that Matthew Stafford will have received close to or all of the $42 million in his contract that is supposedly guaranteed.  The thing is, it isn't really guaranteed.  AdamJT13 believes that Tom Condon, Stafford's agent, wants to toot his own horn, so to speak, by leading everyone to believe there is nearly $42 million guaranteed in his client's deal.  In reality, though, Stafford is only guaranteed to receive about $17 million.  He probably will receive much more than that, but it is not truthful to say that Stafford is absolutely guaranteed to get $42 million out of his deal with the Lions.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Pride Of Detroit

You must be a member of Pride Of Detroit to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pride Of Detroit. You should read them.

Join Pride Of Detroit

You must be a member of Pride Of Detroit to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pride Of Detroit. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker