Originally posted on This Given Sunday  |  Last updated 7/11/13
Yesterday, the Lions officially nailed down their franchise quarterback. When Stafford signed on the proverbial dotted line, he instantly became $27.5 million richer. Now the question has to be asked; is Stafford worth the money? In short, my answer to that question is no, but as with most issues, it's not an open and shut case. Let me explain my reasoning. The great quarterbacks in the NFL win games for their teams. Matthew Stafford keeps his team in a lot of games, but he's only been able to push the Lions to one winning season in his four-year career. Granted, he missed a big chunk of his rookie season and most of his sophomore year, but that doesn't tell the whole story. The best quarterbacks in the league post big numbers, even when their receivers aren't very good. True, Stafford pushes the ball down field, but he also makes far too many mistakes. In the three years he's played meaningful time, he's thrown a minimum of 16 interceptions (3rd season). Last year, he threw for a whopping 17 interceptions. That means, at least once per game, he gives the opposition the ball, often, in good field position. For comparison's sake, neither Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady have ever thrown 16 interceptions in a season. Again, Stafford is good, not great. The final statistic to focus on is completion percentage. Stafford's career completion percentage is just under 60 percent at 59.8%, which conveniently mirrors his 2012 percentage. Tom Brady's career mark is at 63.7%, Peyton Manning's is 65.2%, and Aaron Rodger's is 65.7%; all well above Stafford's percentage. Only once has Stafford topped 60% for a season, while other quarterbacks such as Tony Romo have never thrown for less than 60% in a season. So no, Matthew Stafford is not an elite quarterback. He puts up big numbers, but that includes interceptions, not just completions and touchdowns. Matthew Stafford will likely keep the Lions near the middle of the pack over the course of the next several years, but that won't be good enough for head coach Jim Schwartz to keep his job, and when coaches change, systems change. When systems change, it's hard for a quarterback to keep up. With their current roster, the Lions need a quarterback that can will his team to win, despite a lack of talent. Those quarterbacks are few and far between. If the Lions can put talent around Stafford, they can succeed, but the clock is ticking, and I'm not sure they've done enough for their quarterback in 2013. [follow]

This article first appeared on This Given Sunday and was syndicated with permission.

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Irving unhappy with LeBron's style of play

Report: Mayweather's GF being harassed by McGregor fans

LaVar Ball pulls entire AAU team from floor, forfeits game

Pablo Sandoval apologizes for comments about Giants

LeBron James seems to respond to Kyrie Irving's trade request


Senator jokes that President Trump should nominate Tom Brady for ambassadorship

Report: Cubs interested in Rangers catcher Jonathan Lucroy

Marc-Andre Fleury took Stanley Cup on a road trip, protected it well

Cardinals say Carson Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald won't play in Hall of Fame Game

Chiefs LB Tamba Hali goes on Twitter rant, seemingly wants out

O.J. Simpson still invited to attend Hall of Fame ceremonies

Sports & Politics Intersect: Trump casts shadow over U.S. Women's Open

Best of Yardbarker: General managers take the spotlight

The 'Pay that man his money' quiz

The unexpected rise of the Connecticut Sun

The National League Wild Card is suddenly relevant again

Kicking It: USMNT struggles to find consistency in Gold Cup as World Cup qualifying nears

Three Up, Three Down: The Dodgers are a complete juggernaut right now

BIG3 Week 5: Pivotal make-or-break weekend in Chicago

Who won the Open Championship in the year you were born?

Making an NFL GM change in the summer has its benefits

Box Score 7/21: Stay cool this weekend sports fans

The 'Let's show a little love for James Jones' quiz

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Sports & Politics Intersect: Trump casts shadow over U.S. Women's Open

The National League Wild Card is suddenly relevant again

The 'Pay that man his money' quiz

BIG3 Week 5: Pivotal make-or-break weekend in Chicago

The 'Let's show a little love for James Jones' quiz

Making an NFL GM change in the summer has its benefits

The 'Yoan Moncada era starts now' quiz

The Orioles need to unwind past deals if they are going to rebuild

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Sam Hinkie is calling the shots

The 'No one is betterer than Roger Federer' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker