Matthew Stafford to Detroit Lions, But at What Cost?

Jon HerrmannCorrespondent IApril 25, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 22:  Quarterback Matthew Stafford of Georgia passes the football during the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 22, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)

The Detroit Lions have selected Matthew Stafford with their first overall pick of the 2009 NFL Draft.  Stafford signed a six-year deal worth $41.7 million guaranteed.  The deal could be worth as much as $78 million dollars.

This deal mean that Stafford will be making more money that Matt Ryan

The question that should be asked right now is whether the Lions made another big draft day mistake.

Matt Ryan proved last season that he is a franchise quarterback that is worth a lot of money.  The Lions have decided that Stafford is better than that.

This is a huge problem.  Matthew Stafford hasn't played a down in the NFL and could be the next Joey Harrington, David Carr, or Tim Couch for all we know. 

The NFL needs to do something about this.  Veteran players should be getting $41.7 million guaranteed, not these kids who may never be relevant in the league. 

If the Lions honestly think that Stafford will be a better quarterback this season than Matt Ryan was last season fine, but I'm not buying that at all.  This is meant in no offense to Matthew Stafford, but what Matt Ryan did last season just doesn't happen.  It was a freak occurrence that you can't count on seeing again. 

Since 1999 28 quarterbacks have been taken in the first round of the NFL draft, only 9 have been named to a pro-bowl.  One of those nine was Vince Young.  Another was Daunte Culpepper (not that Culpepper wasn't good for a while, but he wasn't long lasting at all). 

If you are paying someone this much money, you expect him to be a pro-bowler.

If a player proves himself right away, renegotiating is not uncommon in professional sports.  Why all this money up front?  Why has the number one pick become such a burden?  When did it all start?

I would love to be paid $41.7 million dollars to sign a contract.


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