The long wait is finally over for all of Lions nation. Just announced, the Detroit Lions signed Matthew Stafford to a five-year, $135 million extension on Monday. This deal makes Stafford the highest paid player in NFL history. Knowing what the possibility of a franchise tag for the next two seasons could have cost the Lions ($26 million next season and $31 million for the season after) this is somewhat of a bargain for the Lions at $27 million per year.
Lions and Matthew Stafford agreed to five-year contract expected to make him highest paid player in NFL history, a team source told ESPN.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 29, 2017
Detroit Lions Make Matthew Stafford Highest Paid Player in NFL History
Stafford has been the mainstay at the quarterback position since the team drafted him with the first overall pick of the 2009 NFL draft. He was their consolation prize after becoming the first team in NFL history to finish a season 0-16. Lions’ fans can breathe easy now knowing that they have their star locked up for the foreseeable future. The details of the contract do not come as much of a surprise after Derek Carr signed a massive extension himself during the off-season.
Playoff Wins Now a Must
This contract for Stafford likely brings about lofty expectations for the 29-year old. He has now locked himself in as Detroit’s franchise quarterback at minimum for the next five seasons. Playoff appearances are no longer enough for Stafford and the Lions with the team not having won a playoff game since 1991. With that being said, they are coming off playoff appearances in the past two of three years. But it is expected that this team takes the next step and wins a playoff game. Stafford now has put himself under the microscope after betting on himself and getting a big deal done.
Reasons for Excitement
Detroit fans can rest easy knowing there are high hopes moving forward for this franchise as they continue to build on successful campaigns of recent years. Just making the playoffs will no longer become the prize, but now the expectation in Detroit as they believe to have their guy under center. Stafford has surely proven himself worthy of being in the upper echelon of quarterbacks in the NFL. He has proven to be a reliable talent for his team and has progressed immensely as a leader on the field. The goal, moving forward, is for the team to continue to build around him to make them a winning franchise. But for right now, it is okay for Lions fans to party after this signing, and as well all know – “There ain’t no party like a Detroit party because a Detroit party don’t stop.”