Found July 10, 2013 on
The $17 million per season in new money the Lions' Matthew Stafford received in a new contract he signed Wednesday -- seven months removed from a 4-12 record in 2012 -- has those around the NFL shaking their heads over how quarterbacks are dominating the market and chewing up a huge portion of teams' salary caps.
It's one thing for Super Bowl-winning passers Joe Flacco and Aaron Rodgers to cash in on contracts that cross $20 million per season. It's another thing for Stafford, who isn't in that elite category, to get close to that threshold with two years remaining on a monster rookie deal.
So when will it end? When will quarterbacks stop stealing salary-cap space (and, in turn, money) from their brethren, veteran players who used to sign sizable, multi-year deals but instead are playing for the minimum or slightly above it?
Or better yet, will it end? Will the percentage of salary-cap space quarterback contracts eat up ever come back to previous levels?
Several NFL contract negotiators told FOX Sports the answer is yes -- just not until the wave of quarterbacks who entered the league under the new collective-bargaining agreement and the rookie wage scale are up for renegotiation.
The contract negotiators believe those quarterbacks, on the whole, won't have the leverage of the current crop of players that include Stafford, the Falcons' Matt Ryan and the Rams' Sam Bradford, because they'll be coming off deals that aren't as lucrative as what first-round quarterbacks used to get.
Case in point: Andrew Luck received $22 million over four years when he signed last year; Bradford, the last No. 1 overall pick under the old CBA, got $76 million over six years with the chance to earn even more in incentives.
Make no mistake: Elite, proven quarterbacks will always get top-of-the-market money. But with shorter deals for rookies, quarterbacks who haven't quite proved they'll be elite for a long time will approach the market sooner -- and with less of a track record on which to rely. They'll be looking for security, which will give the teams more leverage to start driving the numbers down.
A good example of a player in that situation is the Buccaneers' Josh Freeman. He just completed his fourth NFL season and has shown flashes of being a solid quarterback. But Freeman has been inconsistent and now enters a contract year in which he can prove he's worthy of a long-term deal.
Had Freeman, who was drafted in 2009, entered the league under the new CBA, his four-year deal would have lapsed at the end of this past season. The Bucs would've had an option for a fifth year but would've had to exercise that option after the third year of Freeman's deal.
That would've been March 2012, just after Freeman threw 22 interceptions to only 16 touchdowns. Those are numbers that are hardly worthy of picking up a fifth year that would pay Freeman the average of the third through 25th highest-paid quarterbacks. (For players selected in the top 10, the fifth-year salary would be an average of the top 10 players at his position.)
A possible compromise for a quarterback and a team would be to extend the deal after the third year of the rookie contract, which is the earliest point a player's contract can be renegotiated. Through three years, many quarterbacks have shown plenty of inconsistency, and few have reached or won a Super Bowl. And again, given the new CBA doesn't allow for huge rookie contracts, these players wouldn't have the leverage of big base salaries and bigger cap numbers to suggest a renegotiation continuing such a high pay rate. (Stafford's deal was done as much, if not more, for salary-cap purposes than for rewarding his play.)
So as the league continues to devote large portions of the salary cap to quarterbacks ($21 million is roughly 17 percent of this year's cap), a few teams will have the chance to start reining in those numbers in the coming years by giving modest deals to unproven, inconsistent quarterbacks on whom they're not quite ready to quit. Even quarterbacks who have shown the potential to be elite will face renegotiations earlier in their careers than their predecessors, which should help drive their prices down a bit.
These developments will all be good news to the NFL's "middle class" -- players at non-premier positions who have seen their salaries get stagnant or even drop over the past two years.
The first teams that begin to control their quarterback salaries will be able to devote more money to other positions. That's good news for them because they'll be able to add more talent to the roster, and it's good news for those players who surely feel underpaid in relation to quarterbacks right now.
In short, Stafford should enjoy the zeroes on that contract, as well as the numbers 1988 on his birthdate. Had he been born a few years later, he wouldn't be on schedule to pocket nearly $100 million by the end of this contract in 2017.
BEST OF MAXIM
So happy & grateful I am able to call this my home (well..unless I get dumped) for even longer!! #MI #greatstate #greatpeople #golions
— Kelly Hall (@kellybhall) July 9, 2013
Gotta love a WAG that knows what’s up. Detroit Lions QB just signed a huge contract extension, and that was the tweet his girlfriend Kelly Hall got when she got the good news. Awesome...
Quarterback Mathew Stafford officially signed his new three-year $53 million contract extension with the Detroit Lions this morning. Officially signed the deal! Thank you ford family! @kellybhall & I are happy to be in Detroit for at least 5 more! Love this team and city! — Matthew Stafford (@Staff_9) July 10, 2013 Stafford says he wanted to help the team create more cap space...
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.
A person familiar with the deal tells The Associated Press that the Detroit Lions have agreed to terms on a $53 million, three-year contract extension with Matthew Stafford.
The person, who spoke Tuesday on the condition of anonymity because the agreement has not been announced, says Stafford will make $41.5 million in guarantees as part of a deal that keep him under contract through...
Matthew Stafford has signed a three-year extension with the Lions that is worth $53 million. This deal pushes his current one to five-years and roughly $76.5 million.
When it comes to football you normally can’t look at what the deal is worth, because the business side of the game can come into play and a player could be left on the side of the road in a heartbeat, so you have...
The Lions and quarterback Matthew Stafford have agreed to a a $53M extension that will keep Stafford under contract through the 2017 season.
According to a report by the Associated Press, Stafford will receive $41.5 million in guarantees as part of the new deal.
This is great news for Calvin Johnson dynasty owners as it is clear that Megatron will continue to receive a ridiculous...
The Detroit Lions and Matthew Stafford are reportedly putting the finishing touches on a blockbuster three year $53 million extension according to The Detroit Free Press.
The additional three years on the deal will be worth $53 million, and if you combine that with the two seasons left on his prior deal, Stafford’s could make as much as $76.5 million over the next five years...
Matthew Stafford will be sticking around the Motor City for a few more years. The Detroit Lions’ franchise QB is “on the verge” of a contract extension that will run through 2017 and pay him $75 million, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reported.
That $75 million price tag works out to $15 million per season, though the Lions likely will spread out the signing bonus to...
According to Detroit news outlets and USA Today, the Detroit Lions have agreed to a three-year contract extension for QB Matthew Stafford. The two sides have been embroiled in negotiations for the past several weeks and were hoping to get a deal reached prior to the start of training camp. The deal is worth a reported $73 million dollars with $43 million guaranteed. This deal now...
Lions QB Matthew Stafford signed a three-year extension with more than $41 million in guarantees. Plus, court records read Aaron Hernandez was “argumentative” during the Odin Lloyd murder investigation, a former Bengals cheerleader is suing a website for libel, and another first-round pick signs.
The Detroit Lions and QB Matthew Stafford have come to terms on a three-year, $53 million contract extension. Stafford was highly involved in the contract process, according to Lions president Tom Lewand.
“Matthew really drove this process,” Lewand said. “He worked hard on the contract front and, for him, it really was more about the process, more about being here, more about...
Matthew Stafford is not shaken by Donovan McNabb’s recent criticism.
Stafford said this on “Mike and Mike in the Morning”:
“I understand his point of view.
I totally get that. I’m all about wins and losses as well . It didn’t happen for us last year.
“That’s something that’s obviously extremely important, especially playing the quarterback position. You get the...
After signing his new 3-year $53 million deal, opinions ranged far and wide on Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. Stafford’s ability and talent have never been in question, but his production and team results have left a lot to be desired. He threw just 20 Touchdowns last season and is 1-23 against teams with a winning record.
So when Donovan McNabb let it be known that...
When Tony Romo received his contract extension earlier this offseason, Donovan McNabb came out and blasted the move by the Cowboys.
“What has he really done for the Detroit Lions?” McNabb said on Tuesday’s Total Access, via Down and Distance. “Nothing.”
McNabb continued his criticism.
“It’s about wins and losses again. Now, as a quarterback and as Matt Stafford, hey...
Since his retirement from the NFL, former QB Donovan McNabb has been pretty vocal about current NFL quarterbacks whether it’s how they play, contracts they’ve received or if they should get a second chance which were his thoughts on former Titans/Eagles QB Vince Young.
So it would only be natural for McNabb to comment on the $41.5 million dollars in guaranteed money Matthew...