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Matthew Stafford, Russell Wilson among NFL players to get huge bonuses on Friday

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

It was back on March 17 that a whopping $57 million of Matthew Stafford’s current contract with the Los Angeles Rams became guaranteed.

The quarterback has now joined others by cashing in big time with some absolutely huge bonuses to end March.

Stafford received a whopping $30 million in cold hard cash on Friday as part of the signing bonus payment he received in the extension he signed with Los Angeles last offseason.

Mere months after leading the Rams to a Super Bowl title, Matthew Stafford inked a four-year, $160 million contract extension. The contract was structured in a way that the Rams pushed back huge cap hits to later years, as evidenced by the fact that Stafford earned a mere $1.5 million in base in 2022. He’ll have the same base in 2023 before it increases big time throughout the remainder of his contract.

All of this comes at a time in which Stafford’s future is up in the air in Southern California. There was some talk about retirement following an injury-plagued 2022 season in which Stafford was dealing with a spinal cord injury. While he will be back in 2023, there’s no telling what’s going to happen after that.

Acquired in a blockbuster trade with the Seattle Seahawks last offseason, Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson also got a nice little $12 million pay day on Friday. This was part of the massive contract extension he signed with Denver after being acquired from Seattle.

Wilson, 34, responded by putting up the worst performance of his career. He tallied just 16 touchdowns against 11 interceptions, leading Denver to the 32nd-ranked scoring offense in the NFL.

It led to the firing of head coach Nathaniel Hackett after one season and the trade for former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton. Like Stafford, there’s an open question about Wilson’s future in Denver beyond the 2023 season.

Related: Highest-paid NFL players of 2023

NFL players who received huge bonuses on Friday

los angeles rams quarterback matthew stafford contract
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
  • Matthew Stafford, QB, Los Angeles Rams: $30 million
  • Quenton Nelson, G, Indianapolis Colts: $19 million
  • Deebo Samuel, WR, San Francisco 49ers: $14.04 million
  • Russell Wilson, QB, Denver Broncos: $12 million
  • Matt Ryan,QB, Indianapolis Colts: $8 million

It’s actually interesting to look at. All five of these players struggled in 2022 compared to their previous performances.

Nelson failed to earn All-Pro honors for the first time in his five-year career with the Colts. Samuel put up just 56 catches for 632 yards one season after tallying a split of 77/1,405.

Meanwhile, Ryan was just released by the Colts after one season. The former NFL MVP accounted for 14 touchdowns compared to 18 turnovers before being benched late in the campaign.

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