The Detroit Lions have made it clear that their future plans include quarterback Matthew Stafford and, according to their team president, they are willing to pay a hefty price tag to ensure that Stafford remains in Detroit.
Lions team president Rod Wood recently told ESPN’s Michael Rothstein that he’s comfortable making Stafford the highest player in the NFL (h/t NFL.com).
“I’m comfortable in getting a deal done with him, and we’ll see where that ends up,” Wood said. “It’s going to be whatever it takes, I think, to make it happen from both sides, and whether he becomes the highest-paid or not, it’ll be a short-lived designation because, as Bob [Quinn] said, and I think it’s true, if you’re in the top whatever of quarterbacks, when your time comes up, your time comes up and then somebody else’s time comes up, and they become the highest-[paid player].
“It’s a premium position, and you need to have a very, very good player at that position to be credible and be competitive, and I think we do have that, and we’re working on getting a deal done.”
Stafford has insisted that there is currently no timetable to get a deal done, but the Lions seem to be ready to roll right now.
With extensions on the horizon for quarterbacks such as the Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers, Indianapolis Colts’ Andrew Luck, Oakland Raiders’ Derek Carr and a big contract awaiting Kirk Cousins for wherever he goes, Stafford will likely command a top-level salary.
The Lions realize the importance of Stafford to the franchise and locking him up would be wise. But the team also needs to invest in putting more premier talent around Stafford, on both sides of the ball, to help the team from wasting the best years of one of the best quarterbacks in franchise history.