clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Monday open thread: Should Matthew Stafford be the highest-paid player in the NFL?

Would you be okay with Matthew Stafford signing a record-breaking deal?

13th Annual ESPN The Party - Arrivals Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for ESPN

Ever since the Detroit Lions broke from minicamp, all has been quiet on the Matthew Stafford front. The standout quarterback is expected to negotiate a deal with the Lions this offseason that would keep him around for the foreseeable future, perhaps for the rest of Stafford’s career.

Neither Detroit nor Stafford is facing any important deadlines, so there's nothing pressuring either side to get a deal done immediately. The only true domino left to fall is the July 17 deadline for Kirk Cousins to sign a long-term deal with Washington. The Lions dont have to wait until that deadline passes, but in all likelihood, Stafford is going to wait until that happens.

Whenever a deal gets done, the expectation is that Matthew Stafford’s deal will likely break the NFL record for an extension, which was just set by Derek Carr about a month ago when he agreed to a five-year, $125 million deal.

So today’s Question of the Day is:

Would you approve if the Lions made Stafford the highest-paid player in league history?

My answer: Absolutely, no question. While I dont think Stafford is the best player in the league, nor is he a top five quarterback yet, this is how the NFL works. To keep a franchise quarterback, you have to pull out your checkbook.

Making someone the highest-paid player in the league doesn't mean you think they're the best player in the league. It's simply their turn. The next franchise quarterback with an expiring deal will earn a contract that eclipses whatever Stafford ends up getting, and by the time Stafford’s deal is up again, he'll surely be earning less than most quarterbacks of his talent-level.

It would be nice for Stafford to take a paycut to help the team build elsewhere, but that doesn't happen with franchise quarterbacks not named Tom Brady. The Lions, nor any other team in the NFL, can offer what the Patriots can—a nearly guaranteed annual deep playoff run.

And the Lions will be able to operate fine with Stafford’s contact on the books. They currently have the most cap space for the 2018 season (according to Over The Cap), and while Detroit has several free agents that will eat up a significant amount of that space, it's still more than enough to accommodate Stafford’s deal.

Your turn.


Will you approve if the Lions make Matthew Stafford the highest-paid quarterback?

This poll is closed

  • 85%
    (915 votes)
  • 14%
    (150 votes)
1065 votes total Vote Now

Subscribe to PODD

After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.