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 Stafford's Contract 
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Post Stafford's Contract
I know everybody makes a big deal out Stafford's contract and the extension he signed but are people are you aware that the way Stafford's rookie contract was written the Lions either needed to extend him or cut him with money that was backloaded into his contract? They have the same problem with Suh this offseason.

A lot of the money that was owned to him was just spread over the life of the extension to make his deal more manageable for the next 3 years. The last 2 years are again backloaded.

All these guys make more money than Stafford in fact the only QB, not on a rookie contract or now a 'journeyman' that makes less is Tom Brady who doesn't want the money because his wife makes millions:

1. Jay Cutler, Chicago -- $22.5 million (Signed in 2014: 7 years, $126.7 million, $54 million guaranteed)
2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay -- $22 million (Signed in 2013: 5 years, $110 million, reportedly $40 million guaranteed)
3. Joe Flacco, Baltimore-- $20.1 million (Signed in 2013: 6 years, $120.6 million, $29 million fully guaranteed, 2013)
4. Drew Brees, New Orleans -- $20 million: (Signed in 2012: 5 years, $100 million, $40 million fully guaranteed)
5. Peyton Manning, Denver -- $19.2 million (Signed in 2012: 5 year, $96 million, $18 million fully guaranteed)
6. Tony Romo, Dallas - $18 million (Signed in 2013: 6 year, $108 million, $40 million fully guaranteed)
7. Eli Manning, New York Giants -- $16.25 million (Signed extension in 2009: 6 years, $97.5 million, tom $35 million guaranteed)
8. Philip Rivers, San Diego -- $15.5 million (Signed extension in 2009: 6 years, $93 million, $38.5 million guaranteed)
9. Matt Schaub, Houston - $15.4 million (Signed extension in 2012: 4 years, $62 million, $29.15 million fully guaranteed)
10. Mark Sanchez, New York Jets -- $13.5 million (Signed extension in 2012: 3 years, $40.5 million, $20.5 fully guaranteed)
11. Sam Bradford, St. Louis - $13 million (Signed in 2010: 6 years, $78 million, $50 million fully guaranteed)
12. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh - $12.75 million (Signed extension in 2008: 8 years, $102 million, $33.2 million fully guaranteed)
13. Matthew Stafford, Detroit - $12.25 million (Signed in 2009: 6 years, $73.5 million, $41.75 million fully guaranteed)
14. Tom Brady -- $11.4 million (Signed extension in 2013: 5 years, $57 million, $33 million full guaranteed)

Maybe Stafford's contract is not as bad as you think it is.

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January 6th, 2014, 1:36 am
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Post Re: Stafford's Contract
I think "average per year" would be a better indicator of contract status.

EDIT: I looked at the top contract when I made that statement, which isn't an average. The others appear to be, though.

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January 6th, 2014, 1:38 am
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Post Re: Stafford's Contract
Leo wrote:
I know everybody makes a big deal out Stafford's contract and the extension he signed but are people are you aware that the way Stafford's rookie contract was written the Lions either needed to extend him or cut him with money that was backloaded into his contract? They have the same problem with Suh this offseason.

A lot of the money that was owned to him was just spread over the life of the extension to make his deal more manageable for the next 3 years. The last 2 years are again backloaded.

All these guys make more money than Stafford in fact the only QB, not on a rookie contract or now a 'journeyman' that makes less is Tom Brady who doesn't want the money because his wife makes millions:

1. Jay Cutler, Chicago -- $22.5 million (Signed in 2014: 7 years, $126.7 million, $54 million guaranteed)
2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay -- $22 million (Signed in 2013: 5 years, $110 million, reportedly $40 million guaranteed)
3. Joe Flacco, Baltimore-- $20.1 million (Signed in 2013: 6 years, $120.6 million, $29 million fully guaranteed, 2013)
4. Drew Brees, New Orleans -- $20 million: (Signed in 2012: 5 years, $100 million, $40 million fully guaranteed)
5. Peyton Manning, Denver -- $19.2 million (Signed in 2012: 5 year, $96 million, $18 million fully guaranteed)
6. Tony Romo, Dallas - $18 million (Signed in 2013: 6 year, $108 million, $40 million fully guaranteed)
7. Eli Manning, New York Giants -- $16.25 million (Signed extension in 2009: 6 years, $97.5 million, tom $35 million guaranteed)
8. Philip Rivers, San Diego -- $15.5 million (Signed extension in 2009: 6 years, $93 million, $38.5 million guaranteed)
9. Matt Schaub, Houston - $15.4 million (Signed extension in 2012: 4 years, $62 million, $29.15 million fully guaranteed)
10. Mark Sanchez, New York Jets -- $13.5 million (Signed extension in 2012: 3 years, $40.5 million, $20.5 fully guaranteed)
11. Sam Bradford, St. Louis - $13 million (Signed in 2010: 6 years, $78 million, $50 million fully guaranteed)
12. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh - $12.75 million (Signed extension in 2008: 8 years, $102 million, $33.2 million fully guaranteed)
13. Matthew Stafford, Detroit - $12.25 million (Signed in 2009: 6 years, $73.5 million, $41.75 million fully guaranteed)
14. Tom Brady -- $11.4 million (Signed extension in 2013: 5 years, $57 million, $33 million full guaranteed)

Maybe Stafford's contract is not as bad as you think it is.


Here's the thing....just about every one of those QBs (other than Bradford, who is still on his rookie deal, I believe) have taken their teams to the playoffs and WON playoff games. Sanchez is the exception, and nobody thought his extension with the Jets was a smart thing. That alone should have gotten Ryan fired.

Stafford was outperformed this season by 18 other QBs who had at least 200 passing attempts. 30 other QBs with at least 200 passing attempts had better completion percentage numbers. Yes...30. Stafford ranked 44th out of 63 QBs who even made one passing attempt this season in completion percentage. Yes, drops were an issue. But other teams have receivers that drop balls as well. He threw 19 picks....13 of them came during the collapse which cost them a shot at the playoffs.

I don't care what other teams are paying their QBs. What I care about is the Lions getting bang for their buck. What I care about is that Stafford got a nice new shiny deal paying him a boatload of cash, and he goes out and sh!ts the bed when the team needed him most. And what I care about now is that it seems like he isn't taking any ownership of how rotten he played down the stretch, and the fact that he seriously needs help with all aspects of his play.

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January 6th, 2014, 1:49 pm
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Post Re: Stafford's Contract
So do you think that the Lions have gotten their bang for the buck with CJ's contracts?
There's a lot of high dollar folks not getting it done this year.

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January 7th, 2014, 1:47 pm
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Post Re: Stafford's Contract
jrd66 wrote:
So do you think that the Lions have gotten their bang for the buck with CJ's contracts?
There's a lot of high dollar folks not getting it done this year.


Yes and no. I think that CJ would do even better if the Lions could find that second receiver that has eluded them thus far. If you look at what CJ has done versus the rest of the Lions receiving corps, he deserves what he's getting paid. Is he somewhat overpaid as compared to other high profile receivers around the league? Maybe. But many of those receivers have much better talent that helps take the pressure off them and allow them better opportunities to make plays. That is a luxury CJ hasn't really enjoyed while with the Lions.

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January 7th, 2014, 3:43 pm
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Post Re: Stafford's Contract
That's pretty fair. I get exasperated when the $90M QB throws it just high and wide enough for the TE to extend and deflect the pass for a pick six, but I also get equally annoyed when the $134M WR fumbles away a sure catch at the end of the game for a pick to seal the loss. When the QB is struggling with confidence, the HOF WR has to make those catches when the ball is delivered in essentially the perfect spot. Stafford played like crap in the last 5 games say. CJ didn't help him out when the ball was delivered on at least 3 separate occasions. Folks still want to run Pettigrew out of town for the same things. Bush and Bell each had more fumbles this year than Sanders probably had in his career. I personally think the Tampa game was a big deal. I think that might be when Stafford might have lost his edge. He didn't play well overall in that game, but when the chips were all in he made key throws on target to get it done. Durham's bizzaro magical fumble and CJ's non-catch sealed the deal. I don't think he was the same after that.
Stafford needs to play better, by a lot. He's not the only one.

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January 7th, 2014, 4:09 pm
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Post Re: Stafford's Contract
jrd66 wrote:
That's pretty fair. I get exasperated when the $90M QB throws it just high and wide enough for the TE to extend and deflect the pass for a pick six, but I also get equally annoyed when the $134M WR fumbles away a sure catch at the end of the game for a pick to seal the loss. When the QB is struggling with confidence, the HOF WR has to make those catches when the ball is delivered in essentially the perfect spot. Stafford played like crap in the last 5 games say. CJ didn't help him out when the ball was delivered on at least 3 separate occasions. Folks still want to run Pettigrew out of town for the same things. Bush and Bell each had more fumbles this year than Sanders probably had in his career. I personally think the Tampa game was a big deal. I think that might be when Stafford might have lost his edge. He didn't play well overall in that game, but when the chips were all in he made key throws on target to get it done. Durham's bizzaro magical fumble and CJ's non-catch sealed the deal. I don't think he was the same after that.
Stafford needs to play better, by a lot. He's not the only one.



Nobody said that Stafford was the only one to play poorly. But Stafford is the quarterback, and as much as they get credit for wins that they really didn't earn, they will get hung with the loss even if they weren't the real reason for it. Stafford threw 13 picks in the final seven games, after having only six in the first nine games. And even during those first nine games, he didn't look like he was playing with a great deal of confidence and consistency. I mentioned that early in the season, and few people agreed with me, instead pointing to the wins and thinking everything is OK.

Calvin played hurt most of the season, and that is going to reduce your focus. While we may expect him to make every catch possible, every HOF WR has had drops in their careers, even at critical points in the game. CJ is no different. And while many point to the drops the Lions had this year and say that Stafford shouldn't be knocked for that, I can easily point to the incredible catches that were made by CJ, Pettigrew, Fauria, etc. that saved Stafford from getting credited with an incompletion or a pick.

Calvin Johnson and others had bad PLAYS. Stafford had bad GAMES. Big difference. And if you want to point to one single player on the team that was more responsible for other teams getting points when they shouldn't have, his name pops to the front of the list. Overall, I think Schwartz should get most of the blame, but I am talking strictly the players. Stafford was more responsible for that late season collapse than anyone else.

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January 7th, 2014, 4:45 pm
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Post Re: Stafford's Contract
CJ and the others making bad plays make for bad games by the QB. Fumbling inside the red zone changes the score just like a pick does. The QB handles the ball on every play generally, so more errors will fall to him over time. In the same vein as you say people expect the WR to make every catch, people expect the QB to be perfect on every throw. In both cases, not going to happen. NFL games are won and lost on one missed opportunity in many cases. See the dropped INT for GB in the last playoff game on Sunday. No pick, they lose. Stafford throws wide to Fauria, pick six, Lions lose. CJ loses the ball at the 4 to TB, INT. Lions lose. What's the difference?

The QB is supposed to deliver the ball to the right spot in the clutch. When he does that and the receiver drops it, its not out of bounds to think that is a bad game for the WR or RB. Do you think CJ had a good game against the Ravens? I don't, not even close.

As good as he is, how often do you see him take over a game and win it? How many times do you watch and wonder where is Calvin? Apply the same thought to CJ as you did to Stafford? Did CJ have a bunch of great games with a few bad plays over the last 6 games? Or did he have a bunch of ordinary games with a few good plays mixed in?

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January 7th, 2014, 6:12 pm
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Post Re: Stafford's Contract
I think the lack of imagination in the offense combined with Stafford feeling he had to press the issue instead of letting the game come to him aided in his decline down the stretch. I think instead of just throwing to the spot he was trying to pinpoint everything and when that happens accuracy actually decreases just like with pitchers. Another major problem is for the most part the Lions are horrible route runners and have been for the better part of the last 10-15 years which results in little separation and decreases the potential for the QB to even have the opportunity to throw the receiver open.

As far as him getting himself straightened out it needs to start with his footwork and throwing from a solid foundation. If you go back and watch his poor throws had to do more with throwing off his backfoot or standing flatfooted more than his arm angle. When stepped into his throws for the most part they were much more accurate. I'd like to see more plays from under C where they can run more effective play action game and get Stafford into a better dropback rhythm with more three and five step drops instead of throwing from the shotgun. Stafford has his issues but the coaching, scheme, and surrounding pieces haven't helped his development.


January 7th, 2014, 9:06 pm
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Post Re: Stafford's Contract
jrd66 wrote:
CJ and the others making bad plays make for bad games by the QB. Fumbling inside the red zone changes the score just like a pick does. The QB handles the ball on every play generally, so more errors will fall to him over time. In the same vein as you say people expect the WR to make every catch, people expect the QB to be perfect on every throw. In both cases, not going to happen. NFL games are won and lost on one missed opportunity in many cases. See the dropped INT for GB in the last playoff game on Sunday. No pick, they lose. Stafford throws wide to Fauria, pick six, Lions lose. CJ loses the ball at the 4 to TB, INT. Lions lose. What's the difference?

The QB is supposed to deliver the ball to the right spot in the clutch. When he does that and the receiver drops it, its not out of bounds to think that is a bad game for the WR or RB. Do you think CJ had a good game against the Ravens? I don't, not even close.

As good as he is, how often do you see him take over a game and win it? How many times do you watch and wonder where is Calvin? Apply the same thought to CJ as you did to Stafford? Did CJ have a bunch of great games with a few bad plays over the last 6 games? Or did he have a bunch of ordinary games with a few good plays mixed in?


First off, you can't hold Calvin to the same standard as Stafford, because of the fact that Johnson is constantly getting double covered. Stafford has five, six, sometimes seven guys protecting him. How many does Calvin have? Zip, zero, none. Calvin can't 'take over a game' when the quarterback isn't getting him the ball. He can't 'take over a game' when he is the lone weapon available to the offense and the opposing defense decides they will remove him from the equation and force Stafford to look elsewhere, knowing Stafford doesn't have the ability to do so on a consistent level.

You are picking on individual plays in a game that other players besides Stafford had that were bad, and attributing a loss on that single play. I say that's crap. I am talking about Stafford's overall play for the games, or for the season. You can't pick one play like that, when typically an offense runs 50 or more plays in a game. And then there's things that happen on defense that determine an outcome.

If you want to say that Calvin or someone else was the cause of some losses, OK. That's fine, you are entitled to your opinion. But don't expect that many others will share in your opinion, now or in the future. If you could watch those Lions games and think that Stafford wasn't the single biggest reason the end of the season was a disaster, then I don't know what you were looking at. His decisions were poor, his throws were largely inaccurate and he often put his receivers in bad positions. NFL quarterbacks are the most highly paid because they ARE expected to be able to throw a football with uncanny accuracy at a moments notice. They are expected to make split second decisions, and make the right decision just about every time. It's what separates the elite from the good, and the good from the mediocre. While each team may have two or three QBs on their roster, only one usually plays full time. That's 32 in the entire world that are good enough to start. About six or seven of those can be truly called elite. Maybe another dozen or so 'good'. The rest are mediocre or worse.

Stafford was mediocre most of this season. He threw for 4650 yards. 1500 of those yards went to Calvin, in only 14 games. That means over a third of the receiving yards went to Calvin. Calvin is widely recognized as being the most elite player at his position. Now, maybe this season he didn't play as well as he has in the past. But I will say this, Calvin had a MUCH, MUCH better season than Stafford. Bell and Bush too. Yes, they fumbled a few times. But Stafford fumbled more. Or did you forget about those? Even if he fumbles and recovers it, that's a wasted play. Stafford fumbled 12 times, and lost four. Guess who led the team in fumbles? Not Bush. Guess who led the NFL in fumbles? Stafford. Bush lost four, and so did Stafford.

As I've said before, I blame Schwartz more than anyone for the Lions collapse. But among players, it was Stafford who was the single worst performer among the recognized starters. I can't help it if you aren't willing to see and admit that.

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January 8th, 2014, 12:27 am
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Post Re: Stafford's Contract
Stafford is vastly overpaid. He is an average quarterback with an above average arm, below average mechanics and above average primary target. The Lions were fools to pay him so much, especially guaranteeing so much of that contract when he still was under contract for another season. The problem is that Mayhew, Lewand, Jr and too many of the fans, are enamored with Stafford. He makes the 'wow' throw. That sticks in their mind and they ignore, dismiss or discount the rest of his body of work. It is like the weekend duffer that hacks his way around the golf course cussing about how much he hates the game until he tags one beautifully. Suddenly, he loves the game and the only shot he remembers is that one. Even now Mayhew talks about how Stafford was great in 2011. :shock:

Stafford was not great for an entire season. Stafford was not even great for an entire game; at any time during his tenure here. He has had some great halves, some great plays, but by and large he has lived and died on the ability of Calvin Johnson to make great catches. He has tremendous talent and horrible mechanics. Quit drooling over the statistics and day dreaming over the frozen rope he threw while back-peddling. Be honest with yourselves. Nate Burleson was hurt almost all of last year. He was also hurt for a large portion of this season. Had that been Calvin Johnson, rather than Burleson, how good do you think Stafford would look? Bear in mind, that with an injury hampered Johnson Stafford struggled and it was even worse when Calvin sat out. Even with a relatively healthy Johnson in the four win season of 2012 the Lions only won four games and one of those was won when Stafford was benched in favor of Hill. (Not the way it was spun, but what happened none the less)

When Harrington made the same throws Stafford is making fans screamed for his replacement, now they make excuses. Back when Harrington threw high everyone agreed with Mooch that it is easier to catch a pass chest high rather than over head. Now Stafford is 'just throwing it where only his guy can get it'. Yeah, right, sure.

I'm not bashing Stafford. I'm not. I'm bashing the stars in the eyes ignorance of fans that refuse to look at what Stafford has actually done over all and not just the highlights. There is plenty of blame to go around for why the Lions fail, just as there is more to all of the victories than just Stafford. He is over-paid.


January 8th, 2014, 6:06 pm
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Post Re: Stafford's Contract
Overpaid or not, what other option are there out there this year? The top 5 qb's will most likely be gone by #10, and the #5 has a busted ACL. Free Agent options? He's cheap on the cap for the first 3 years, and the guaranteed money was the average. No one's going to get less.

The key thing with Stafford is he's 25, which is still younger than some of the guys still on their rookie contracts. It's why the emphasis is on an offensive coach with QB experience. He can be coached up. And they have 2 more seasons to do it, or they'll cut the final 2 years and draft a replacement.


January 8th, 2014, 7:14 pm
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Post Re: Stafford's Contract
Clearly, I am a heretic.. but I am accustomed to such. [-(

I think, before it is all over with, we may find that Calvin's contract is as problematic to the Lions if not more than Stafford's. I say this presuming that they find some way to extend Suh as well.

Not bashing CJ, he does incredible, flashy, eye popping things. My thought its not about him personally. He is a WR though, and that has limited ability to propel a team to the top.

Hopefully, the team can put things together soon to make a playoff push and get something done before the dollars become a big problem again.

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January 8th, 2014, 8:52 pm
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Post Re: Stafford's Contract
My brother-in-law is a Seattle fan and he was absolutely shocked to see Durham starting at WR for us.

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January 9th, 2014, 10:35 am
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Post Re: Stafford's Contract
Hardly a heretic. I am far more the heretic. I am one of the very few who disagree with the talking heads that the quarterback is the heart and soul of a football team. They aren't, they are just the focal point because they handle the ball every play on offense. They don't play defense and they rarely play on special teams. I don't believe quarterbacks win many games, but I am a firm believer they can lose games. My rationale for this is that even when they make good decisions they still need the help and support of their teammates to make a successful play; runners still have to gain yards and receivers still have to catch passes. On the other hand, if a quarterback makes a poor decision there is little anyone can do to make that turd a golden nugget.

I didn't want Stafford drafted by us. I only watched Stafford in one college game, just before he was draft, and it was a big game. Big time players show up in big time games and Stafford did not show up. As a result I didn't think that highly of him, but I knew there were a ton of other teams that did and would have parted with several high picks over a few years to get him. In spite of my objections the Lions drafted him. (long sad sigh) They did the same thing regarding Harrington and I got over that and supported Harrington. I support Stafford also, though it may not seem like it. I want him to succeed because when he plays well it is a good thing for the team. However, he has to want to improve beyond 'good enough' and he will not want to do that when everyone sings his praises and he has tens of millions of guaranteed money to keep doing what he is doing.

As for who would replace Stafford, that ship may have sailed. Hill would have been a nice fit to replace Stafford. Stafford's contract makes it unlikely we can re-sign Hill and still extend Suh. Not that I wanted Hill to be the guy since we were paying Stafford so much and his trade value is nil sitting on the bench. But, starting Hill and benching Stafford would have been a message to Stafford that you are not performing acceptably and your contract will not dictate game decisions. Sadly, that is a potential message that went out the window when Stafford got his new contract.

Mayhew and Lewand are looking for a head coach with more of an emphasis on Stafford than on the rest of the team. Why?!!!! Because they have planted their lips so firmly to Stafford's backside, via the contract, that Stafford failing will be their failing as well. It would have been different if Stafford was like Peyton Manning or Tom Brady, but he isn't. That is why the contract was such a bad idea.


January 9th, 2014, 6:36 pm
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