The Dallas Cowboys and quarterback Tony Romo agreed to a six-year contract extension on Friday afternoon. NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reports that the extension is worth $108 million and includes $55 million in guaranteed money, which is actually more than what Joe Flacco got in his new contract. If you add Romo's extension to what he is set to make in 2013, the total worth of his contract is $119.5 million over seven years, according to NFL Network's Albert Breer.
This news is actually pretty important for the Detroit Lions, as it's a significant development on the quarterback market. The Lions' negotiations with Matthew Stafford on a new contract haven't exactly progressed all that much, but perhaps now things will start to get moving with Romo's contract in place. The expectation has been for Stafford and Romo to end up with similar deals, and in that regard, the Cowboys just indirectly helped Stafford get a pretty nice pay day.
@adamschefter Romo's new deal is probably Matthew Stafford's floor since Romo & Stafford are both represented by CAA.— Joel Corry (@corryjoel) March 29, 2013
On the one hand, the Lions and Stafford now have a contract to work off of in their negotiations. On the other hand, the Lions are looking at a situation where it's really going to be difficult to avoid overpaying Stafford. He has shown a lot of promise in his young career for sure, but is he worth something beyond what Romo is getting? Not really. But the reality is that the Lions are likely going to have to give him a contract even bigger than the one Romo just got. Stafford's got all the leverage, and his agents can point to Romo's deal as a baseline for what Stafford should get.
Stafford was set to get a big pay day even before the Romo deal got done. However, as Joel Corry said in the above tweet, the Lions are now getting a look at the very minimum of what Stafford's new contract will likely be worth. There's no word on how far apart the two sides are right now on a new deal, but one thing is for sure: Stafford is going to get PAID when an agreement is finally reached.