Lions restructure Stafford’s contract, void 2023 season

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

The Detroit Lions restructured quarterback Matthew Stafford’s contract on Sunday. This was the second-time that they restructured his contract in nine months.

With this new restructuring, Stafford received $7.8 million in a signing bonus, according to ESPN. He was previously going to receive this in a base salary.

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford throws a pass against the Chicago Bears
Matthew Stafford throws a pass against the Chicago Bears (Photo by the Associated Press/Duane Burleson)

The Lions will pay Stafford the $7.8 million signing bonus over the lifetime of the deal, according to mlive.com. This allows Detroit to have nearly $6 million more in cap space for this season, while also adding an additional $1.95 million per year in his contract for the remaining years.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who broke the story, said that Stafford gets this money now in case that the NFL will have to cancel games due to the coronavirus pandemic. Right now, the league will attempt to play the entire season.

The Lions have a chance to opt out of his contract at the end of the 2020 season. If they do, it’ll cost the Lions $24.8 million in dead cap space.

It’s unlikely that Detroit will part ways with Stafford by releasing him, because the $24.8 million dead cap hit would be the most in NFL history.

Stafford is slated to make $9.5 million for the 2021 season, then make another $12.5 million in 2022. Mlive.com is reporting that Stafford’s 2023 season has been voided to spread of the signing bonus that he received on Sunday.

With extensions handed out to Patrick Mahomes II and DeShaun Watson this off-season, Stafford is now the 13th-highest paid quarterback in the league.

Stafford has spent his entire career with the Lions. He was their 1st overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft.

The Tampa, Florida native – who also grew up in Texas before attending the University of Georgia – went 24 of 42 for 297 yards in a loss to the Chicago Bears on Sunday. He also had a touchdown pass and an interception in the game.

In his career, he has appeared in 150 games, including 150 starts. As a starter, he is 69-80-1. He’s 3-5-1 in the last two seasons in nine games.

Stafford has gone 3,583 of 5,738 for 41,322 yards. He has thrown 257 touchdown passes and was intercepted 135 times.

Stafford’s upcoming contract options:

Pre-June 1st, 2021 Release or Trade:

2021 Dead Cap – $24,850,000

2021 Cap Savings – $10,100,000

Post-June 1st, 2021 Release or Trade:

2021 Dead Cap – $14,950,000

2022 Dead Cap – $9,900,000

2021 Cap Savings – $20,000,000

Pre-June 1st, 2022 Release or Trade:

2022 Dead Cap – $9,900,000

2022 Cap Savings – $18,050,000

Post-June 1st, 2022 Release or Trade:

2022 Dead Cap – $4,950,000

2023 Dead Cap – $4,950,000

2022 Cap Savings – $23,000,000

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