Matthew Stafford Becomes QB Highest-Paid Player in NFL, Because The Lions Had No Other Choice But To Pay Him

The Detroit Lions and Matthew Stafford have agreed to a five-year contract making the quarterback the highest-paid player in NFL history, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Oakland’s Derek Carr currently holds that title with his five-year, $125 million deal.

The Lions drafted Stafford with the first overall pick in 2009. It’s been a roller-coaster ride since that point. He’s showcased the talent that allowed him to generate so much predraft hype, but he’s also been prone to mistakes, with 108 interceptions and 18 fumbles lost in 109 career games.

He did put together his second straight strong season in 2016. The 29-year-old Georgia product ranked eighth in the NFL in ESPN.com’s total QBR metric. In all, he’s tossed 56 touchdowns since the start of the 2015 campaign with a completion rate of 66.3 percent.

Finding another quarterback of Stafford’s quality — either through the draft or via trade — is a difficult proposition. The Lions figure they’d rather have five years of Stafford than a replacement, even if it costs an arm and a leg. And, look, that’s just the way it is.

Stafford won’t be the highest-paid player for long. The next competent quarterback to come up will benefit from a similar market and likely exceed $27 million a year. Like it or not, that’s the price of getting a QB in the top-third (or close to it).

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