Is 2020 Make-or-Break Season for Matthew Stafford?

John Maakaron

Could the 2020 season be the last for Matthew Stafford in Detroit? In years past, one of the primary factors supporters would turn to was the massive cap hit the organization would incur if they released him. 

Fast forward to the end of the 2020 season. According to, Stafford's dead cap hit would be 13.6 million if Detroit decided to release him.

In comparison, the dead cap hit would have been 24.8 million if Stafford was released after this season. 

QB Matthew Stafford© Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

What this means is that Stafford's contract is easier to move on from for the organization after the 2020 season. 

Coming off of two injury plagued seasons, the upcoming season has massive ramifications for the 11-year veteran franchise quarterback.

For one, ownership has placed a win-now mandate on the current front office and coaching regime.

General Manager Bob Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia must produce results next season or face being dismissed. 

For Stafford, it may be represent one last opportunity to achieve that elusive playoff victory. The Lions have only appeared in the playoffs on three occasions during Stafford's career. 

A significant challenge that Stafford currently faces is the perception that he is not capable of winning the big games. 

Also, despite the team having many holes and deficiencies, the blame oftentimes falls on the highest paid player on team. 

Something to watch for this offseason is how the team addresses the backup quarterback situation. 

If the team decides to draft a young quarterback in the first two rounds, that may spell the beginning of the end of the Stafford era. It would be viewed as the organization drafting Stafford's replacement. The 2020 season would be a year Stafford mentored his replacement.

All of this speculation regarding Stafford's tenure could be put to rest if the team made a run towards the playoffs and achieved that elusive playoff victory. 

Until then, the clock is ticking on Stafford's time being the signal-caller of the offense. 


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Comments (6)
No. 1-3

According to the media the last 8 seasons have been make or break for Stafford. Every year someone writes one of these played out articles, and they're just as asinine now as they were then. We had the 2nd worst defense in the league and couldn't stop a jv offense but its make or break for the best player on our team? C'mon now. Matt is the solution not the problem and if you think otherwise you either; dont know a thing about football, hate Stafford's inabilty to work miracles, or are simply lacking intelligence. If you don't know jack about the Lions, maybe consider writing about something that you do know. My biggest regret of the new year is gracing this worn out narrative with one of my precious "clicks".


Yeah at some point you have to move on from mediocre play


If Stafford chokes this year, assuming defense turns to be above average.. he will be cut. He can’t deliver in big games!