The Lions have signed quarterback Matthew Stafford to a five-year contract extension that makes him the highest-paid player in NFL history, according to multiple reports.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter was first to report the news.
Stafford, 29, was set to become an unrestricted free agent after this season. He is earning a total of $22 million this year, the last year of a three-year $53 million contract signed in 2013. Stafford’s new deal is worth $135 million over five years, $10 million more than the Raiders’ Derek Carr, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports. The contract includes $92 million guaranteed and $50 million signing bonuses, according to Schefter.
“Highest-paid player in NFL history” is essentially another way of saying “youngish quarterback who signed a contract extension most recently.” Carr’s five-year extension signed this June made him the NFL’s richest player at $25 million annually. Before Carr, Andrew Luck was the highest-paid player in NFL history, with a six-year, $140 million deal signed in 2016. Aaron Rodgers held the distinction before that, with a five-year, $110 million contract.
The Lions drafted Stafford with the top pick in 2009 and he rescued the team from a decade-long stretch of absolute futility. Though Stafford has helped lead Detroit to three playoff appearances in the last six seasons, the Lions have not advanced past the first round. Their last playoff victory was in 1991.