In the modern NFL, everything starts and ends with your quarterback. That reality has, understandably, means the top signal-callers can earn massive amounts of money. Just ask new LA Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford about that.
While the quarterback’s time with the Detroit Lions wasn’t the most successful from an on-field perspective, Matthew Stafford still managed to earn an impressive salary. In fact, he raked in more than $226 million during his time in the Motor City, all without winning a single playoff game.
Matthew Stafford has spent a tough 12 year with the Detroit Lions
In recent years, the Detroit Lions haven’t seen too many organizational successes. Unfortunately for Matthew Stafford, he’s paid the price for that reality.
After a successful college career at Georgia, the quarterback entered into the 2009 NFL draft. He joined the Detroit Lions as the first-overall pick, signed a sizable contract, and was given the task of taking the franchise back to the top of the heap. Things, however, didn’t go according to that plan.
Stafford struggled through a disappointing rookie year; the following season, he missed most of the action with a shoulder injury. In 2011, though, fortunes changed in a big way. The quarterback threw for 5,038 yards and 41 touchdowns, led the Lions into the playoffs, and took home Comeback Player of the Year honors.
That campaign provided a painful template for the rest of Stafford’s NFL career. While the quarterback has shown plenty of talent, throwing for more than 4,000 yards during eight separate seasons, the quarterback has been stuck in no-man’s land with the Lions. He’s started 165 games with the team, posting an all-time record of 74-90-1.
Making more than $226 million without winning a playoff game
Despite posting some impressive individual numbers, Matthew Stafford hasn’t achieved any postseason success with the Detroit Lions; he’s only appeared in three playoff games during his career and hasn’t won a single contest. That reality, though, hasn’t done too much damage to his bottom line.
Stafford’s first playoff appearance came in 2012 when he and the Lions fell to the New Orleans Saints in the Wild Card round. The quarterback met the same fate in 2015 and 2017, losing to the Dallas Cowboys and the Seattle Seahawks, respectively.
While quarterbacks are usually judged by their postseason success, Stafford has still managed to make a nice chunk of change in the NFL. According to Spotrac’s numbers, he’s earned just over $226 million during his time in Detroit; at one point, he was even the league’s highest-paid player.
Matthew Stafford will get a fresh start with the Rams while keeping his sizable salary
When the 2021 NFL season kicks off, however, Matthew Stafford will no longer be playing for the Detroit Lions. Instead, the quarterback will be taking his talents to Hollywood and joining the LA Rams.
As reported by ESPN, the Lions traded Stafford to the Rams in exchange for Jared Goff and several draft picks; while the deal can’t become official until March, both sides seem to have gotten what they wanted. LA will feel like they have a talented quarterback who’s proven he can post impressive numbers, even in tough circumstances. The Lions will say they’ve landed a promising player and, combined with their new draft picks, are looking to get things moving in the right direction.
While it will take some time to see how things play out on the field, one thing won’t be changing: Matthew Stafford’s salary. The quarterback still has two years left on his current contract; according to Spotrac, he’ll take him an additional $43 million by the time it expires.
Maybe now he can earn a playoff win to compliment that bottom line.
Stats courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference