For a few months now, we’ve heard the Detroit Lions’ side of things regarding Matthew Stafford’s future with the franchise. Back in April, general manager Bob Quinn told reporters, “Matthew’s a quarterback that I want here and he’s a quarterback that Coach (Jim) Caldwell wants here.”
A month later, Quinn told SiriusXM that he believed the team was making serious progress on a potential contract extension with the franchise quarterback. “I feel confident we can get something done,” Quinn said.
All the while Stafford has remained somewhat quiet on the matter. Though back in April he said he’d love to get a deal with Detroit done, he’s mostly avoided the issue, letting the process play itself out instead of posturing to the media.
On Monday, however, Stafford was a little more direct with WXYZ in Detroit about his desire to stay in Detroit. “I definitely want to sign an extension here,” Stafford said. “I want to play for as long as I possibly can, and would love to be able to stay in one spot.”
Stafford is currently in the final year of his contract and would potentially become an unrestricted free agent in 2018 if the Lions can’t come to an agreement before the season year starts next calendar year.
There are reports out there that Stafford is going to wait until Raiders quarterback Derek Carr agrees to an extension with Oakland before coming to an agreement with the Lions. Carr, who is also entering the final year of his contract, is three years younger and expected to set the market for franchise quarterbacks for the near future. Carr wants a deal done by training camp, so Stafford’s extension could get done shortly thereafter.
At this point, there’s no reason to think the two sides won’t eventually come to an agreement. Of course, this early in the negotiations, and both sides want to appear open and willing to negotiate fairly. Things will truly heat up as training camp draws nearer towards the end of July.