Matt Stafford: Detroit's Attempt To Renew Its Image May Prove Costly

Jeff KnowlesContributor IApril 25, 2009

ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 24: Quarterback Matthew Stafford #7 of the Georgia Bulldogs rushes for a second quarter touchdown during the game against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on November 24, 2007 at Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field in Atlanta, Georgia.  Georgia defeated Georgia Tech 31-17.  (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)

The Detroit Lions agreed with Matthew Stafford on a deal that makes him instantly one of the top paid players in the league.  The deal if for six Years, $72 million with over $40 million guaranteed.  Its a huge gamble that the Lions are willing to take with their fans and their team's future.

The fans of Detroit are ready for change.  Many are not convinced that Matt Stafford is the answer.  Several polls of Lions fans show they wanted to go another direction with Aaron Curry, who had also agreed on a contract that would have been significantly less than Stafford.

The overnight Internet blogs proved the skepticism and Matthew Stafford is going to have prove to fans that he was the right choice.  Its highly likely that it may take a year or two to get his chance.  Coach Jim Schwartz has already hinted that veteran QB Daunte Culpepper will help groom Stafford into the Detroit offense and into life a NFL QB.

We all wish the best for the Lions and their endeavor to win a game and, at some point in the future, make the playoffs.  Baby steps will start with a fresh face of the franchise. And as much as the fans may not appreciate the pick, it should be fun watching the Stafford-Calvin Johnson combination over the next few years.  Staffords arm is the best coming out of college football and, in my opinion, Calvin Johnson is one of the top three wide receivers in the league.

Now that this is a signed deal, it will be interesting to see what Detroit does next.  They have the No. 20 and No. 33 picks to play with.  The questions is, do they have the money to sign another first round pick and a high second rounder.  The Lions still need help in just about every position on the football field, with main priorities being OL and CB.

Time will only tell if Stafford was the right choice.  Another five yeras of non-success, or a possible turn around that would be a refreshing change to a city and state that could definetly use it.