Stafford Strikes Gold: Contract Makes Him Highest-Paid NFL Player Ever

Leon Halip

On Monday, per NFL.com, the Detroit Lions "started gathering the money bags".

The Lions announced a new five-year deal for Stafford, keeping him with the team through to the 2022 season.

Sure, the deal is huge, but Stafford has already done very well.

"At certain points, at times, everything's in play when you meet with my guys and [agent] Tom [Condon] and those guys at CAA, but in the back of my mind, I've always wanted to be here", Stafford told reporters.

The good news is that Stafford has been at his best under current Lions coach Jim Caldwell, a marriage which has produced two playoff seasons for the long-suffering Lions fans. It's not immediately clear whether that number will change with the extension agreement.

Detroit have been one and done in the postseason in each appearance with Stafford at the helm.

Stafford's wife Kelly should be quite pleased to hear this.

"It was important [to finish the deal before the regular season]", Stafford said.

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the deal is worth $135 million, which averages out to $27 million per year.

Stafford, who is entering his ninth season with the Lions, holds several franchise records, including 30,303 passing yards and 187 touchdown passes.

Critics often note that Stafford is winless in three playoff games with the Lions, to which supporters note that he's not exclusively responsible for defeats.

Of course, given the nature of National Football League contracts-not guaranteed, often incentive-laden, frequently with uneven timelines for being paid out- there will be a lot more to Stafford's record payday than just that figure.

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