By: Will Burchfield
If Matthew Stafford signs an extension with the Lions this summer, he’ll do so on his own terms.
Despite a report from ESPN that Stafford intends to wait until Derek Carr inks a new deal with the Raiders before signing one of his own, Stafford said on Wednesday that neither Carr nor Kirk Cousins of the Redskins will have any bearing on his negotiations with the Lions.
“I’m not too worried about what those guys do. I’m just worried about trying to get better out here. That’s pretty much all I can say. This time of year to me is football time. I’m out here playing football, trying to get better to help this team win,” said Stafford.
The Lions quarterback is entering the final year of a three-year, $53 million extension he signed in 2013. If and when Stafford re-ups, he’s expected to land a contract that will surpass that of Andrew Luck, who’s currently the highest-paid player in the league.
Luck signed a five-year extension last summer with the Colts that pays him an average of $24.5 million per year.
Both Carr and Cousins are expected to surpass Luck’s annual salary as well.
Cousins and the Redskins have until the July 15 franchise-tag signing deadline to work out a new deal. The team already franchise tagged him in February, so he’s guaranteed at least $23.94 million in 2017.
Carr has set the start of training camp as his deadline for landing a new contract with the Raiders.
Stafford, meanwhile, said he has “no timetable” for coming to an agreement with the Lions.
“The only time I ever talk about (my contract) or think about it is when you guys ask me questions about it, honestly. I just go out there and play ball, try to be aggressive and get better,” he said.
Stafford, 29, is coming off a season in which he garnered MVP consideration until a finger injury hindered him over the final month. He threw for over 4,300 yards, completed over 65 percent of his passes and finished with 24 touchdowns to just 10 interceptions.
Given the rising NFL salary cap and the soaring market for quarterbacks, Stafford has a legitimate chance to become the highest-paid player in the league with his next contract.