The Detroit Lions have made Matthew Stafford the highest paid player in NFL history. He’s not just the highest paid quarterback, but he’s the highest paid player. There have been a lot of great players in the NFL throughout the years, and there are currently tons of great players in today’s game. In a league full of great players, does Stafford deserve to be the highest paid of them all?
In my personal opinion, Stafford doesn’t deserve to be the highest paid player. I’m not saying that I don’t think Stafford is a talented player, because I think he’s a great player. While I think Stafford is a great quarterback, I think there are other players who are far more talented than he is. Out of all the players in NFL history, Stafford doesn’t deserve to be the highest paid of them all. While I think this is the case, there are several factors that could have contributed to this contract.
A major factor contributing to this contract, is the fact that every time a quarterback gets a contract extension, they have to get a contract bigger than the last guy. Going back a couple years, Andrew Luck became the highest paid quarterback, then it was Derek Carr, and now it’s Stafford.
Every time a quarterback refuses to take less than the last guy, they put their team in a crappy situation. Just look at the Redskins and Kirk Cousins. Cousins has been franchise tagged for two years because the Redskins won’t give him the money he wants. After this season, it’s likely that Cousins will leave if the Redskins don’t make him the highest paid quarterback. Does Cousins deserve that kind of money? No way! He’s good, but not that good. By not accepting a smaller contract, Cousins is putting his team in the worst possible situation. If he stays and gets paid what he wants, the Redskins have less money to build a team that can win a championship. If he leaves, the Redskins have to start the process of finding a franchise quarterback all over again. He hurts the Redskins in one way or another.
Stafford has hurt his team by taking so much money. I don’t blame the Lions for giving Stafford the money though. They had to do what they had to do to keep their franchise quarterback, but would it have killed Stafford to take less so the Lions could spend more in other places? Same goes for Andrew Luck, Derek Carr, and everyone else. I guess the Lions would rather have less money to build a team than not have a quarterback to build around at all. They chose to avoid the Kirk Cousins situation and the distractions that can come with it. Now that the Lions have paid Stafford, their hope is that he can help them reach and win a Super Bowl. Here’s where the biggest problem with Stafford’s contract lies.
Results Speak for Themselves
Matthew Stafford has been in the NFL for 8 years. In those 8 years, Stafford has taken the Lions to the playoffs 3 times. In those 3 playoff games, Stafford has an 0-3 record. Does that sound like someone who deserves to be the highest paid player in NFL history? NO.
Tom Brady is currently the 15th highest paid quarterback in the league. In his 17 year career, Tom Brady has a playoff record of 25-9. He’s led his team to 5 Super Bowl wins. That is the kind of player who deserves to be the highest paid player in NFL history, not a player who hasn’t won a playoff game.
While talking about Stafford’s contract, Stephen A. Smith said, “There is just something about me that has a problem with individuals that end up cashing in when the team never seems to. “It’s not his fault, and I get that…but when you are the $27 million man, largest annual salary in NFL history, damn, could you win a playoff game?”
A player with the talent of Matthew Stafford deserves to have a team built around him to win games, but when he takes so much money he sure makes it hard for that to happen. Stafford might have had an excuse to not win playoff games in the past, but this new contract puts everything on him. He better produce results, or he’s going to make himself and his team look like fools.
When it comes to talent, Stafford is up there. When it comes to producing results, he’s not where you’d expect the highest paid player in NFL history to be. The contract is good for Stafford himself, but it might just end up being detrimental to the Lions as a team. Unfortunately, I think this trend of making quarterbacks the highest paid players isn’t going to stop anytime soon. Someone needs to break this trend and do what’s best for their team, rather than doing what’s best for themselves. If they don’t, these contracts are going to get even more out of hand than they already are.