Matthew Stafford Becomes Highest-Paid Player in NFL History After Agreeing to 5-Year-Deal With Lions

Matthew Stafford will become the highest-paid player in NFL history with the five-year deal he has agreed to with the Detroit Lions, sources told ESPN on Monday night.

The deal will have an average annual value of $27 million, a source said, putting Stafford ahead of the five-year contract that pays $25 million annually to Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, which Carr signed last month.

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A source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Stafford’s deal is expected to guarantee him a record $92 million, including a $50 million signing bonus. The previous record for guaranteed money issued to an NFL player was $87 million for Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts.

Under the deal, Stafford will be guaranteed $60.5 million at signing and $86 million by the start of Year 2 of the contract, which starts next March, a league source told Schefter. The full $92 million is guaranteed upon Year 3, the source told Schefter.

The Lions announced the five-year deal Monday night but did not disclose financial terms. The deal keeps the 29-year-old Stafford, the Lions’ franchise leader in almost every passing category, with the team throughout the prime of his career.

Top Lions receiver Golden Tate and Stafford’s wife, Kelly, took to Instagram to congratulate the quarterback.

Stafford made $110,778,969 in his first eight seasons with the Lions, according to Spotrac, and was due another $16.5 million in cash for this season before signing the extension. It’s not immediately clear whether that number will change with the extension agreement.

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SOURCE: ESPN, Michael Rothstein

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