The NFL and NFLPA have reached an agreement on player safety in regards to COVID-19, along with financial changes that will be spread out over the next few seasons.
In regards to the league’s financial situation, a big loss of revenue is being anticipated for 2020, which had an agreement not been reached, would have lowered the 2021 salary cap to a level at which many teams would not be able to handle. Instead, the agreement sets a floor of $175 million for the 2021 season, which the remainder of the potential losses from the 2020 season being spread out over 2022, 2023, and 2024. If the losses end up being less than projected, the 2021 cap would be higher than $175 million.
So, what does this mean for a team like the Detroit Lions?
The Lions are actually in decent shape according to Spotrac, as their current contracts for 2021 (45 players) add up to $171,898,576. That, coupled with the estimated 21,591,275 that they could roll over from the 2020 season, means they would have more flexibility than many teams in the league will have if the 2021 cap ends up at $175 million.
Erik Schlitt of Lions Wire recently agreed with a tweet suggesting that it could be a good time to give Matthew Stafford a contract extension, noting that he thinks “most teams with veteran QBs will be looking into altering their top players’ contract either via extension or by converting base salaries into bonuses.”
Stafford is currently under contract with the Lions through the 2022 season and Lions GM Bob Quinn will have to decide at some point if he wants to give him a contract extension or if it is time to go in a different direction. That “some point” may be coming sooner than expected because of the league’s projected financial situation as a result of COVID-19.
Nation, what would you do if you were Bob Quinn? Would you sign Matthew Stafford to a contract extension, freeing up money for the next few seasons, or are would you let him play out his contract and move on?
For those of you who have read my columns over the years, you know exactly what I would do if I were Quinn. Make Stafford a Detroit Lion for life!