KANSAS CITY -- This is what I don't understand about the
The Lions rewarded the Georgia quarterback with a six-year, $72 million contract that could escalate to $78 million by maximizing incentives; $41.7 million of the contract is guaranteed. And I simply don't understand why, in this era when teams and the league complain constantly about the size of rookie contracts and guarantees, that the Lions paid Stafford 16 percent more in annual guarantees than last year's top pick, tackle
It's absurd, really. It's a contract sure to rekindle the debate -- and it should -- over the whole issue of paying rookies stupid sums they haven't earned. We all know the washout factor for first-round quarterbacks is close to 50-50, and the Lions just made Stafford the highest-paid player, with the most guaranteed money, of any player in their history. And the league shouldn't expect the players association to lend a helping hand in getting teams out of this mess. Union boss
"What's the merit in this deal for Detroit, other than getting the deal done before the draft?'' said one capologist late Friday night. "Where was Stafford going? This was one time the team had real leverage on the player and just didn't use it.''
The deal points out how hard it's going to be for teams to draw lines in the sand and make players stay behind the line. In the span of five years, the guarantees and contract level for the top pick have doubled, from
Now for my Draft Day Five Things I Think I Think:
1. I think
2. I think it's a longshot, but the Rams got a call Friday from a team between 12 and 17 -- I don't know which one, but my guess is Washington -- hoping to fashion a deal taking advantage of the fact the Rams won't want to pay an offensive lineman $11 million a year. I wouldn't expect a deal to get done, but I think the book on the top of the draft is the Chiefs aren't trading out, or down very far, and if you want to ensure getting Sanchez, you'll have to trade above number four and Seattle.
3. I think the top six goes something like this:
4. I think no one trades into the top five, again, and then I think the real key pick becomes number eight. If Sanchez is on the board, Jacksonville is going to have the chance to trade down with someone, and the Jags, needy of many things other than just
5. I think