NOTE: The views expressed in this EDITORIAL do not necessarily reflect the views of Detroit Sports Nation or a majority of its writers and should not be misconstrued as such. The views contained within are the views of the author and the author alone.
The Detroit Lions and Matthew Stafford are reported to still be far apart in their negotiations for a new long-term deal. With Stafford expected to become the highest-paid player in the NFL at nearly $30M a season, it is wise for the Lions to take their time.
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) August 5, 2017
I am in the minority in believing the Lions should NOT sign the QB to a long-term deal, at this time.
Going into his ninth season, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 draft has yet to win a playoff game despite playing along side one of the greatest receivers of all-time Calvin Johnson. I fully understand that he came into a bad situation and has not had the defense nor running game that may be necessary to win a championship, but only three playoff appearances and losing all three just doesn’t scream “highest-paid quarterback ever” to me.
It is very difficult for me to believe Stafford is going to somehow instantly become a winner. Quarterbacks like Russell Wilson, Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees, and even Joe Flacco have taken their teams to titles. These are the players that deserve these types of contracts.
In fact, all of the names above rank in the top 10 among highest-paid quarterbacks in the NFL right now, all with an average annual salary of at least $21 million per year. Stafford meanwhile currently ranks 17th in that department with an average annual salary of $17.67M.
You want to talk $18M, maybe even $20M, I can be on board with that, but $30M is outrageous. I believe the team should let him play out the season and take it from there. Is that a risk? Of course, but he needs to prove he can win. If he were to get us a playoff win or two this season, I may loosen my stance, but for now the Lions need to stay firm.
I am fully prepared to go into 2018 with Jake Rudock and Brad Kaaya trying to pick up a Jimmy Garoppolo, Kirk Cousins, or even Colin Kaepernick in free agency. Using a first-round pick in 2018, pending the result of 2017, is not out of the question either.
I am a very die-hard, life-long Lions fan who wants nothing more than to see this team win the Super Bowl, just like the rest of ‘Honolulu Blue and Silver’ Nation. I think we have the talent to contend, but we need our quarterback to lead us to the promise land. If not successful though, it is time to cut our ties and move on.
Stafford appears to have the tools, and sure, he could use some help in other areas of the team to take some weight off his shoulders. But he ultimately plays one of if not the most important position in all of sports.
One encouraging thing to see as training camps get underway, Stafford seems to be physically-ready to go in 2017.
Caldwell said Matthew Stafford might be in the best shape he’s ever been in at this time of year.
— Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) July 29, 2017