When the Rams traded for Matthew Stafford in January, Ian Rapoport repoported that Stafford would not receive an extension or renegotiation as part of the deal. But with only two years remaining on Stafford’s contract, it is highly improbable that LA made the trade without expecting to have him as their quarterback for at least five seasons.
What would it cost to keep Stafford for at least three years beyond 2022?
One note to the #Rams trade for Matthew Stafford: The expectation is that his contract won’t need to be changed. He has two years and $43M left and an extension or raise was not part of the deal. Finding the right spot was more important than .
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 31, 2021
Stafford signed a five-year, $135 million contract with $60.5 million guaranteed for the Lions in 2017. As is predictable, it was the richest contract of any player in the NFL at that point. It has since been topped many times over.
On Monday, the Cowboys agreed to a four-year, $160 million contract with Dak Prescott. It only took four years for a quarterback to get $25 million more for one less year than what Stafford got in 2017. Of course, last July Patrick Mahomes went well above both to get $45 million per year and $450 million total with the Chiefs, albeit on a contract that was specifically designed to look a lot larger than it actually is.
Don’t get me wrong, Mahomes’ deal is massive, but his guarantees aren’t that much different than Prescott: Mahomes has $141 million total guaranteed and $63 million FULLY guaranteed, while Prescott got $126 million and $95 million, respectively.
Other quarterbacks to get at least $100 million total guaranteed include Deshaun Watson, Russell Wilson, Jared Goff, Carson Wentz, and Matt Ryan. But maybe even more important is the full guarantee and within that we see that Aaron Rodgers ($78 million fully guaranteed), Ryan Tannehill ($62 million), and Kirk Cousins ($61 million) also have significant contracts.
Cousins, who is the same age as Stafford, signed a two-year, $66 million extension with the Vikings last year that is essentially fully guaranteed.
Wilson, also the same age as Stafford, signed a four-year, $140 million deal with $70 million fully guaranteed in 2019.
At the moment, Stafford has a $9.5 million base salary in 2021 and a $12.5 million base salary in 2022 with a $10 million roster bonus. His cap hits are $20 million in 2021 and $23 million in 2022, both of which are exceptionally reasonable for a quarterback of Stafford’s caliber. As of today, 14 quarterbacks are set to have a higher cap hit next season. Jared Goff has bigger cap hits in both years.
So the Rams do not need to rush to extend Stafford to save money, though an extension in 2021 could save them a little bit of money down the road.
A quarterback like Stafford could get a contract somewhere between the two-year deal for Cousins and the four-year deal for Prescott. If we literally did that, Stafford would sign a contract extension that is around three years and $110-$120 million and nearly all of it would be fully guaranteed.
That contract would also keep Stafford on the team through 2025, at which point he will still only be 37, the same age as Aaron Rodgers today.
And that’s about what a Matthew Stafford contract extension could cost.