While negotiations have remained very quiet between the Detroit Lions and Matthew Stafford this offseason, the first sign of turbulence came when the two sides failed to come to an agreement before the start of training camp.
According to NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero, there is a little more reason for concern. Pelissero tweeted on Tuesday, “My understanding is there’s still a pretty substantial gap,” in contract discussions.
Discussed Matthew Stafford contract on @nflnetwork: They're actively talking, but my understanding is there's still a pretty substantial gap— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) August 1, 2017
This is the first indication of where negotiations stand between the two sides, and the first real sign that there may be a snag in the deal.
Whenever Stafford is signed, he is widely assumed to receive the highest contract in quarterback history. Just a month ago, Derek Carr signed a five-year, $125 million contract with the Oakland Raiders. While that $25 million/year mark was an NFL record, Stafford is expected to eclipse that. In fact, a few weeks ago we explained why it’s possible Stafford could earn over $30 million per year in his next deal.
Pelissero does admit that the two sides are still “actively talking,” which is promising. But if you’re expecting to see a deal done in the next week or so, it sounds like you may have to wait until we’re much closer to the regular season.