Celebrity Then And Now
Matthew Stafford
Name: Matthew Stafford
Birthdate: February 7, 1988
Famous Years: 2007-Present
Currently Known For: Quarterback of the Detroit Lions
Networth: $157 MillionFamous For: Former 1st Overall NFL Draft Pick (2009)
Matthew Stafford
Name Matthew Stafford
Birthdate February 7, 1988
Famous Years 2007-Present
Currently Known For Quarterback of the Detroit Lions
Networth $157 Million
Famous For Former 1st Overall NFL Draft Pick (2009)

In 2008, the Detroit Lions would become the first team in NFL history to finish 0-16, and just one of the few teams that have finished winless overall. Because of that, the team would be given the first overall pick in the following year’s NFL Draft, meaning there was a lot of pressure on whichever player would be picked to pull the team from the absolute bottom.

The team would end up picking Matthew Stafford, a quarterback from the University of Georgia that had left after his junior season. Stafford was considered by many to be the best choice for the Lions to turn the team around, as he had finished his final year in college with 3,459 passing yards, 25 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

Stafford was fortunate enough to be drafted in the time when rookie contracts for first round picks were through the roof, especially for quarterbacks. These days, there’s a wage scale for rookies so that there aren’t extensive negotiations with teams that result in holdouts or huge amounts of dead salary cap space if a player doesn’t pan out. Contracts like the one that Stafford received would end up being worth the money, but a lot of veterans in the league weren’t happy about a player who’d never stepped foot on an NFL field being among the highest paid players in the league.

Leading up to the 2009 NFL Draft, Stafford entered into contract negotiations with the Detroit Lions to become the top pick. Stafford and the Lions would end up working out a deal that was worth six years, and included $72 million, with $41.7 million of that fully guaranteed. At the time, no player in NFL history had received that much guaranteed money in one contract.

Stafford showed a lot of potential after his rookie season despite some poor numbers and a 2-8 record, as he displayed a strong arm and a lot of leadership. The team figured that some fine tuning would make him into a good NFL quarterback, which turned out to be right. After missing much of the 2010 season, Stafford would rebound in 2011 with a 10-6 record where he threw for more than 40 touchdowns, having his breakout season.

Suddenly, Stafford was playing up to his contract, but in the 2012 season didn’t have much talent surrounding him on the team. He was forced to throw the ball more than 725 times, or more than 45 times per game. Still, his personal talent was there and the Lions saw that, and got to work on a contract extension with two seasons left on his deal. With that, Stafford agreed to a three-year extension on his contract with $53 million, giving him a guaranteed $41.5 million that would last through the 2017 season.

Since 2010 when he missed 13 games, Stafford hasn’t missed a starts with the Lions, and has improved his record since his initial contract to 43-37 overall since the deal. He’s also been a lot more efficient and has cut down on his interception rate, with his last two seasons having just 10 interceptions each compared to 20 in his rookie season.

Following the 2016 season, the Lions had reached the playoffs, which has been a rare feat for the team throughout their history. While they had struggled at the end of the season and lost in the first round, the core of the team was still there. With the 2017 season approaching, there were some that worried that it might be Stafford’s last in Detroit, as high profile player Ndamukong Suh had already left the team to search for greener pastures.

Instead, just a week before the season started, Stafford would agree to a five-year extension that would last through the 2022 season, worth a total of $135 million and $92 million of that guaranteed. Those numbers would be the highest in NFL history for any player, but would be surpassed by fellow quarterbacks Matt Ryan (Atlanta Falcons) while Jimmy Garoppolo (San Francisco 49ers) would get more overall money.

Starting in the 2018 season, Stafford will get $10 million per season guaranteed because of a signing bonus, while his salary from the previous season and the first season of the new deal became fully guaranteed. His 2019 season will also be fully guaranteed at $13.5 million, and he’ll get $12 million over the next two seasons simply for being on the roster. It’s highly unlikely that the Lions would ever just let Stafford walk, giving him the ultimate security that NFL players crave.

As for his endorsements, there aren’t many that come in Stafford’s way,at least on a national level. He doesn’t get prominently featured in advertisements like players such as J.J. Watt or Antonio Brown, but he does have minor deals with companies like Nike, Pepsi and many companies in the Detroit area that earn him an extra $2 million per year. It’s the salary that makes Stafford rich, and the fact that the Lions had been starving for a stable quarterback for decades leading up to Stafford means the team is more than willing to pay the man.