The Detroit Lions kicked off training camp on Sunday without completing one of their most important goals of the 2017 offseason: signing franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford to an extension. Despite both sides showing both enthusiasm and a willingness to get a deal done, Stafford currently remains on track to become a free agent in 2018.
The start of camp represents the first deadline the two sides failed to meet. To his credit, Stafford has maintained that this won’t be a distraction during camp. “It’s not difficult for me. I come in every season, no matter—5 years on a deal, 1 year on a deal, 3 years on a deal—there’s no difference to me as far as my preparation, Stafford said on Saturday.
But even a day before camp broke, Stafford showed signs of frustration with the constant contract talk. “I’m honestly pretty tired of talking about it,” he said after being asked several questions about it.
The regular season is still over a month away, but the first deadline has passed. So today’s Question of the Day is:
Is it time to start worrying about Matthew Stafford’s contract situation?
My answer: Not yet... but it’s definitely time to start paying closer attention. Many people—myself included—really thought that the Lions would work through a deal by the time training camp started.
There’s no doubt that both sides would have benefited by getting a deal done before the first practice, so the fact that it didn’t get done on time is a clear sign there is still work to do between both parties.
But because this is literally the first sign that there is some disagreement between Stafford’s agents and Lions management, I’m not going to panic. Oftentimes when there’s a serious issue with negotiations, one side will leak that the parties are “far apart” in order to get more leverage or sympathy with the public. In more dire situations, one side will remove themselves from the figurative negotiating table. We clearly aren’t there yet.
However, Sunday marked a significant deadline that the two teams missed, so I’d be lying if I said my confidence wasn’t at least a little shaken by the lack of a deal. Still, I’m only a 2 out of 5 on the worried scale. I expect a deal to get done in the next couple weeks.
Is it time to start worrying about Matthew Stafford’s contract?
This poll is closed