Stafford signs $53M, 3-year extension with Lions
ALLEN PARK, Michigan (AP) — Quarterback Matthew Stafford signed a $53 million, three-year extension with the Detroit Lions on Wednesday to stay under contract for $76.5 million over the next five NFL seasons.
The deal came a month after the 25-year-old Stafford answered another round of questions about his future with the team.
“I don’t want to go for the next three years talking about, ‘Well, you’ve got two years left. You’ve got one year left; now you’re getting franchised,’” said Stafford, who had two years left on the deal he signed as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 draft. “That’s just something I’m not about. I want to be about the team. I want to help the team out if I can in cap space, whatever it is. I want good players around me as a quarterback.”
The deal will pay him another $41.5 million in guarantees, and he signed the contract to answer the question about where he’ll play in the near future.
“It was important too to remove that dialogue,” Lions President Tom Lewand said. “Not that Matthew would let it become a distraction or that we would let it become a distraction. This way we avoid that.”
The deal clears some salary cap space for a franchise desperately seeking success with only one playoff victory since winning the 1957 NFL title.
Detroit hasn’t won much in large part because its last Pro Bowl quarterback was Greg Landry in 1971.
Detroit drafted Stafford out of Georgia and signed him to a six-year contract worth as much as $78 million with $41.7 million in guarantees.
Following two injury-stunted seasons, he helped the Lions earn a spot in the playoffs in 2011 for the first time since 1999.