Lions’ Matthew Stafford Says Contract Talks Not A Distraction
By Ashley Dunkak
ALLEN PARK (CBS DETROIT) – Tens of millions of dollars at stake would be an overwhelming distraction for the average person.
For an NFL quarterback who already has tens of millions, not so much.
The Detroit Lions’ Matthew Stafford said he is keeping his focus on the football field despite the ongoing negotiations to nail down an extension of his current deal, which expires in two years.
“That’s something that [team president] Tom [Lewand] and my agent will talk about, figure out,” Stafford said. “Whenever they want to stop talking, they can stop talking or whatever it is. I’m just doing football stuff right now, and if I get a phone call, I get a phone call.”
When Baltimore Ravens’ quarterback Joe Flacco got his good-news phone call earlier this year, it was to inform him of a $120.6 million deal that made him the highest-paid player in football history.
Stafford is not necessarily expecting that kind of windfall.
“Good for him?” Stafford said with a laugh. “The guy won the Super Bowl, so I understand … I mean, who knows? That’s not my expertise.”
If the quarterback does sign a monstrous deal, though, it certainly will not be the first time. His original contract with the Lions is worth $72 million before incentives, and $41.7 million is guaranteed.
With plenty of time to iron out terms of an extension, Stafford does not appear to be in much of a rush. Even if the deal is not done by the time the season starts, Stafford said it would not be an issue for him.
“Either way, whether it gets done or doesn’t, I don’t play this game to get contracts,” Stafford said. “I play this game to win games. That’s the way I’ve always felt about it. Whether it gets done or doesn’t, it would be no distraction.”
The Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers signed a five-year extension in April worth $110 million, and the New Orleans Saints’ Drew Brees got five more years for $100 million. Of course, those two and Flacco have all won Super Bowls.
Then again, the Dallas Cowboys’ Tony Romo got a $108 million extension, and the Atlanta Falcons’ Matt Ryan is projected to command a similar amount.