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Matthew Stafford: Lions' offseason MVP?

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Detroit Lions president Tom Lewand is impressed with what quarterback Matthew Stafford has done for the team in the offseason.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions have had a busy offseason. I suppose that is what happens when you go 4-12. There have been plenty of moves involving new players joining the team and familiar faces exiting, but one thing that hasn't happened so far is an extension for quarterback Matthew Stafford. That was seen as the key to the Lions' offseason, but the two sides haven't been able to agree to anything just yet.

It turned out that the Lions didn't need a new deal for Stafford to be active in free agency, but there is still a desire to get something done. Lions president Tom Lewand recently reiterated that the team wants to get Stafford a long-term deal, and he suggested that Stafford may actually be their offseason MVP. From the Free Press:

"There is not a guy that's done more for this franchise in this off-season than Matthew Stafford," president Tom Lewand said at the team's town-hall meeting last week. "The guy's been in the building every day. He's been living here the entire off-season. He's been working out, he's helped us recruit free agents, he's been involved on a daily basis in trying to get ready for the season, and he would do anything to help us be successful."

The Lions really need Stafford to make a jump to an elite level if they are going to take that next big step as a franchise. They need more consistent play out of the quarterback position, among other things. If Stafford can progress to the point where we're talking about him as one of the league's top quarterbacks, the sky is the limit for this team. To get there, extra work like this in the offseason is necessary, so it's good to hear Stafford has been so busy in Allen Park the last few months.