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Lions, Stafford come to terms

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There will not be a holdout with the top pick in the 2009 NFL draft. The Detroit Lions and agents for Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford reached an agreement on a record-setting contract that will pay Stafford a guaranteed $41.7 million.

The six-year contract, worth $72 million with minimum playing time achieved by Stafford, could rise to $78 million with incentives.The Stafford deal is a significant increase over last year's first-round pick, Jake Long, the tackle who was picked by the Miami Dolphins.Long's deal averaged $10 million per year on minimum playing time, and $11.5 million per year achieving maximum incentives.

Stafford's deal is $12 million a year with minimum playing time and $13 million per year with incentives.The Lions, who had a deal worth much less in place with Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry if they couldn't reach a deal with Stafford, clearly wanted the quarterback all along. Coach Jim Schwartz, trying to turn around the fortunes of the 0-16 team, made it clear he valued the moxie and terrific arm strength of Stafford. General manager Martin Mayhew and COO Tom Lewand set out Wednesday to make a deal with Stafford. Friday night, shortly after 10:30 ET, the deal got done.

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