Lions, Matthew Stafford expected to start talking new contract soon

USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions and quarterback Matthew Stafford haven't really opened talks on a new contract just yet, but general manager Martin Mayhew says those discussions are coming.

A big part of the Detroit Lions' offseason plan revolves around quarterback Matthew Stafford's contract. He isn't set to become a free agent or anything like that, but it's important for the Lions to get him a new deal. He currently has a cap hit of around $20.8 million for 2013, and getting him a new deal would free up a lot of cap space for the Lions.

Essentially, this is the same situation the Lions were in with wide receiver Calvin Johnson last year. Getting Johnson a new deal gave them much-needed cap room, and getting Stafford a new deal would do the same. That's why signing Stafford to a long-term contract is at or near the top of the Lions' list of priorities for the offseason, although general manager Martin Mayhew admitted last week that talks haven't really begun just yet with Stafford. From the Free Press:

"My thought on that is that we’re going to try to extend him," Mayhew said. "There hasn’t been a whole lot of dialogue about it at this point, but I think that’s coming."

Mayhew has said that the Lions are planning to be a bigger player in free agency this year. A key component to actually being able to be a bigger player revolves around the cap space a new deal with Stafford would create, so let's hope these talks will indeed get rolling soon.

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