Contract Negotiation Headline NFL Players

Breaking Down the Stafford Deal

matthew stafford

You all saw last year as Michigan offensive tackle Jake Long signed a 5-year, $57.75 million deal prior to the 2008 NFL Draft. Well, when Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford was signed early this past weekend, I wasn’t shocked. Stafford was signed to a 6-year, $72 million contract. Rather than bore you with the always-available aspects of Stafford’s deal, I will compare this contract to those of first chosen quarterbacks of the past.

2009: Matthew Stafford – 6 years, $72 million

2008: QB not drafted 1st overall

2007: JaMarcus Russell – 6 years, $61 million

2006: QB not drafted 1st overall

2005: Alex Smith – 6 years, $49.5 million

2004: Eli Manning – 6 years, $45-54 million (the amount varies based on incentive achievement)

2003: Carson Palmer – 7 years, $49 million

2002: David Carr – 7 years, $46.2 million

2001: Michael Vick – 6 years, $62 million

2000: QB not drafted 1st overall

**Matt Ryan, although not chosen 1st overall, received a 6 year, $72 million contract (Ryan was drafted third overall)

It is not difficult to notice the magnitude of change in the contract amounts of quarterbacks from 2007-2009. Bad agents, lack of collegiate skill and other intangibles are often tossed around by fans as reasons why contracts from 2007 and below are lower than those of the present. I, however, am a firm believer of trending salaries. Precedents are set each year for next year’s top pick. Talk about “keeping up with the Jones’s.”

3 replies on “Breaking Down the Stafford Deal”

You’re right, and next year the #1 pick will get a relative increase in their contract regardless of position. I just think of it as inflation, and without a Rookie Cap, there will be no regulation of the inflation.

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