Matthew Stafford's Contract-Option Bonus Reportedly to Be Picked Up By Rams

Adam WellsJanuary 14, 2023

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - NOVEMBER 20: Matthew Stafford #9 of the Los Angeles Rams warms up prior to the start of an NFL game against the New Orleans Saints at Caesars Superdome on November 20, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Sean Gardner/Getty Images

After Matthew Stafford confirmed last month he wasn't retiring, the Los Angeles Rams will pick up his contract-option bonus for 2023 along with his 2024 salary.

Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Rams are expected to exercise the option in Stafford's deal that guarantees him $62 million before the third day of the new league year.

The 2023 league year begins on March 15 at 4 p.m. ET, meaning the Rams have to officially pick up Stafford's option before March 18.

Stafford's season got off to a rough start when ESPN's Adam Schefter reported prior to Week 1 the 34-year-old had offseason elbow surgery to alleviate pain he dealt with the previous year and help him prepare for 2022.

After he suffered a spinal cord contusion in a Week 11 loss to the New Orleans Saints, there were questions about Stafford's NFL future. Head coach Sean McVay told reporters his quarterback was dealing with leg numbness as the result of a stinger.

Stafford's season ended Dec. 3 when the Rams placed him on injured reserve. He said on his wife Kelly Stafford's podcast a couple of weeks later that he wasn't retiring.

The decision on Stafford's contract appears to signal the Rams are ready to reload next season.

After some uncertainty about McVay's future, he announced Friday he will return as head coach in 2023. Other core players such as Cooper Kupp, Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey and Bobby Wagner are going to be back.

Injuries decimated the Rams this season. Stafford and Kupp missed eight games each. Donald was shut down after Week 12 due to an ankle injury. They became the first team in NFL history to start 12 different offensive line combinations in the first 12 weeks of a season.

Los Angeles also set a league record for most losses by a reigning Super Bowl champion. Its 5-12 record was its worst since its first season in L.A. in 2016.

The Rams have a lot of work to do to reshape their roster around the star players, a task made more difficult by virtue of not having a first-round draft pick because of the Stafford trade. But having that core group of star players on both sides of the ball healthy can make them a playoff contender.

Stafford finished this season with 2,087 passing yards, 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions in nine starts.