In a truly Hollywood plotline, Matthew Stafford redefined his career arc by winning a Super Bowl with the Los Angeles Rams after years of losing with the Detroit Lions. Now, Stafford has earned a huge payday.
Matthew Stafford gets big payday with his new contract
Stafford is signing a four-year, $160 million contract with $135 million guaranteed, according to a league source. He is now making $40 million annually.
A perennial loser with the Lions — as far as his winning percentage goes — while surrounded by a lower standard of talent and coaching stability, Stafford is thoroughly enjoying his new digs and elevated football situation on the West Coast.
Stafford ranks 12th in all-time passing yards. His nearly 50,000 yards place him between Hall of Fame quarterbacks John Elway and Fran Tarkenton.
Success was a ‘long time coming’ for Stafford
“Long time coming,” Stafford said during the Super Bowl week. “Spent a lot of years in this league, and I’ve loved every minute of it. I feel blessed to be able to play in this league for as long as I have, but I sure am happy for this opportunity for not only myself but really so many guys in that locker room that deserve this too.”
Stafford was the fastest quarterback to reach 20,000 yards (71 games), 30,000 yards (109 games), and 40,000 yards (147 games).
Steady climb for the former Georgia star
Instead of passing to Calvin Johnson, as he did during his early years in Detroit, Stafford has built a strong connection with star wide receivers Cooper Kupp and Odell Beckham Jr. OBJ is now a free agent, but the Rams did add former Bears WR Allen Robinson this past week.
Stafford is 86-95-1 for his career. He’s never been an All-Pro, but he did win NFL Comeback Player of the Year in 2011.
Where Stafford stands
Stafford, statistically, has posted a career mark similar to three other quarterbacks not in the Hall of Fame: Steve McNair, Mark Brunell, and Tony Romo.
Romo was a four-time Pro Bowl selection who had a 78-49 career record and went 2-4 in the postseason. Brunell, meanwhile, was a three-time Pro Bowl selection with an 84.0 career passer rating and a 5-5 playoff record. The late Tennessee Titans, Baltimore Ravens, and Houston Oilers quarterback, McNair made three Pro Bowls and was 5-5 in the playoffs. He lost a Super Bowl when the Titans came up one yard shy of going to overtime against the Rams.
Stafford has a 91.1 career passer rating but threw 17 interceptions last season. He’s tossed 161 career interceptions with 27 pick-sixes.
Rams head coach Sean McVay believes in Stafford and his ability to rise to the occasion. The confidence is high in the Texas native and former top overall pick of the draft.
“I think he’s at his best when he’s enjoying the moment, playing cool, calm, and collected, being that great competitor and bringing people with him,” McVay said days before Stafford led the team to a Super Bowl win. “And that’s exactly what he’ll do. We went out and got him because we thought it was a chance to be able to get a great player of his magnitude. Those things don’t come around often. He’s elevated everyone around him. He’s made me a better coach, he’s made his teammates better.”