Matt Stafford and the Detroit Lions: A Case Study in Insanity

Riley AngelCorrespondent IApril 25, 2009

ORLANDO, FL - JANUARY 1: Quarterback Matthew Stafford #7 of the University of Georgia sets to pass against the Michigan State Spartans at the 2009 Capital One Bowl at the Citrus Bowl on January 1, 2009 in Orlando, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

Matthew Stafford has just been given a six-year $78 million contract with $41 million guaranteed. By the Detroit Lions. Who have so many more pressing needs than a quarterback who will be spending more time on the ground than standing. Even worse, a player who has never taken a single snap in the NFL.

The NFL is desperately in need of rookie contracts, like in the NBA. Players who have never played a single down are getting payed more than proven veterans such as Brian Westbrook, who in 2008 signed a three year deal worth $21 million with $13 million guaranteed.

Westbrook, who is a star among true NFL fans for his low-key behavior and hard work ethic, us getting payed less than a third of what a rookie who has never and may never win a game in the NFL is getting. Stafford is unworthy of being a top paid player in the league.

The Lions were also insane in signing a quarterback after signing Daunte Culpepper to a two year contract, and who lost 30 lbs in the offseason. The Lions will regret not signing Aaron Curry from Wake Forest, who has shot up the draft charts and was reported to be willing to sign for $30 million dollars.

In order to be a winning team in the NFL, you have to be able to stop the other team, unlike the Lions who had the second-worst defense in the history in the NFL. The Lions have shown once again that although they have new management, they are still the Lions.

Stafford may end up being a good player. He may even up being a Hall of Fame player. Even so, he's the wrong player and will not help the Vikings.

The point of this is it is unreasonable to pay someone before they prove themselves. There have been too many cases of the first person in the draft to be a bust in order to justify such a high price.

Ryan Leaf and Alex Smith are just two of a number of cases that have set back their teams years in terms of quarterback play.  While proven players get a fraction of what these guys get, while those guys are now sitting at home, living off the ridiculous contracts they are rewarded, they are actually out on the field working for teams that have rewarded them for actually playing.

It is an outrage and must be addressed.

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