Detroit Lions quarterback is set to enter the final season of a three-year extension he signed with the team back in 2013. And all indicators up to this point seem to suggest that he’ll become the highest-paid player in the NFL.
Though, the Lions and Stafford face a soft deadline of July 31st to come to terms on an extension. That’s when Lions training camp opens, a time when Stafford himself might simply decide to table negotiations until after the season.
The good news here for Detroit is that there’s reportedly internal optimism that the team will be able to sign Stafford to an extension before camp itself starts later in the month.
“Appearing on Tuesday’s edition of NFL Total Access, NFL Network’s Stacey Dales reported there is “internal optimism” at team headquarters that a new agreement will be reached in the next two weeks,” NFL.com noted.
Stafford is currently one of the most underpaid quarterbacks in the league. He’s set to earn $16.5 million in base salary in 2017.
Coming off a 2016 campaign that saw him put up 4,327 yards to go with 24 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions, Stafford is currently playing the best football of his career. It will likely lead to him surpassing Derek Carr’s brand-new five-year, $125 million contract.
Should the two sides not work something out, there’s one of three possible conclusions. Detroit and Stafford come together on an extension immediately after the 2017 season. If that doesn’t happen, Detroit would then have to place the franchise tag on the quarterback in order to avoid seeing him hit free agency. Hence, why getting a deal done before camp is such a big deal.