NFL: Detroit Lions make Matthew Stafford the highest paid QB in history.
The Lions quarterback signed a record breaking contract extension on Monday that positioned him to earn a jaw dropping $151.5 million through the 2022 season. The deal will make Stafford the highest paid player in the NFL and will ultimately heap more pressure on the skilled quarterback to lead the Lions to a deep run in the post-season.
Under the contract, Stafford will be guaranteed $60.5 million at signing and $86 million by the beginning of year two. The full amount of $92 million is guaranteed for year three and will keep the franchise quarterback under contract for five years, ensuring that the Lions keep Stafford for the majority of his prime years.
Stafford had a solid statistical year in 2016, recording 4,327 yards while throwing 24 touchdowns and 10 interceptions on the season. Despite his volume throwing and ability to create plays on offense, the Lions were not a great football team.
Last season saw the Lions fall to another mediocre year at 9-7, unable to make a push in the playoffs. Whether Stafford wants to admit it or not, his new contract will have expectations set through it. The struggling franchise needs a successful season in the near future to justify granting Stafford a max-contract.
While Detroit’s defense needs improvement, their offense should have a breakthrough season. The Lions receivers must make an impact this upcoming season, the talented tandem of Golden Tate and Eric Ebron will be carrying much of the offensive load. Improving the running game is a vital part of success for the Lions who ranked 30th in rushing yards during the 2016 season.
Whether Stafford delivers a great season in Detroit is yet to be determined, the Lions play in a tough division with the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings being their chief competition.
Will Detroit reach the Super Bowl this season? probably not, however that is not the expectation for a franchise that has been devoid of playoff success for the past 20 years. A concrete improvement would be to win a division title and progress to make a run in the playoffs that will engage and excite a Detroit fan base that has been loyal and starving for post-season success.
The Lions will begin their 2017 campaign against the Arizona Cardinals on September 10th at home, visit Ticketmaster.com to book your season opener at Ford Field.