Former Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford has agreed to a contract extension with the Detroit Lions worth a reported $53 million that will keep him in the Motor City at least through 2017.
The 2009 NFL draft’s first overall pick signed one of the last mega deals before the rookie salary scale went into effect and the extension will keep him among the league’s highest paid players. The Lions will also be in position to take advantage of a reduction in Stafford’s salary cap impact and give them some much needed room to negotiate a new contract with defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.
Stafford has thrown for 10,005 yards the past two seasons and led the 2011 Lions to their first post-season appearance since 1991. Stafford is considered the first true franchise quarterback for the Lions since the great Bobby Layne guided the team through most of the 1950’s. He is the second Georgia Bulldog, joining the SEC’s first Heisman Trophy winner Frank Sinkwich as the number one overall draft pick and starting QB for the franchise.
In three seasons at Georgia, Stafford compiled a 27-7 record and was on the verge of breaking numerous school records before giving up his final season of eligibility to turn pro. The contract extension reportedly guarantees him $43 million and adds 3 years to his original deal, it includes a $27.5 million signing bonus and puts his total compensation at $76 million over the next 5 years.
The 25 year old former Dawg is one of only five quarterbacks in NFL history to have thrown for more than 5,000 yards in a single-season.