With all of the money he’s earned in the NFL, Matthew Stafford can afford to spend it however he wants.
Stafford, who earned over $210 million in his first 11 seasons with the Detroit Lions, just made a meaningful financial transaction. It had nothing to do with cars, houses, or the stock market.
Stafford just gave his alma mater, the University of Georgia, over $300,000 for something that could change the school forever.
Matthew Stafford has had an excellent career
The first overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft, Matthew Stafford has quietly had an excellent career.
The 32-year-old Stafford enters his 12th season having completed 62.5% of his passes for 41,025 yards, 256 touchdowns, and 134 interceptions.
Playing in the same conference as the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, and Russell Wilson means Stafford has only made one Pro Bowl since he entered the league in 2009. That honor came in 2014, when he threw 22 touchdowns on a Lions team that went 11-5 and made the playoffs.
Stafford has had an underrated career partly because he’s never won a playoff game. He is also only 69-79-1 as the Lions’ starting quarterback, but those numbers are inflated by a 3-10 record in his first two seasons.
Stafford has made plenty of money in the NFL
Matthew Stafford was one of the last NFL players to earn a large rookie contract.
Stafford parlayed that fact into multiple major paydays from the Lions. According to Spotrac, Stafford earned $210 million through his first 11 seasons, which ranks ninth all-time among quarterbacks.
Of the eight quarterbacks above him, most have Hall of Fame cases and four — Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, and Tom Brady — sealed their spots in Canton, Ohio, many years ago.
Matthew Stafford just gave his alma mater $350,000 for social justice
Matthew Stafford and his wife, Kelly, have spent recent months donating their money amid the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Sports Illustrated, Stafford and his wife previously donated $100,000 to two local groups: Forgotten Harvest and the Detroit Public Schools. Now, they’re giving back to their alma mater.
The Stafford family donated $350,000 to a social justice program at the University of Georgia. The program “seeks to implement strategic initiatives in the areas of diversity, inclusion, equity and social justice,” according to the school.
Georgia Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart and his wife, Mary Beth, donated $150,000 to the same program.
Greg McGarity, Georgia’s Athletic Director, released a statement thanking the four.
“These gifts will help the Athletic Association educate, implement dynamic programming, and execute service opportunities to achieve our, those being to foster critical consciousness, cultural competence and further developing change within our athletic association and our current community.”
Georgia said the donations were part of “larger gifts made by both the Staffords and Smarts.”
The school will announce more information on the gifts at a later date.