Matthew Stafford set a new bar for quarterback earnings Monday after agreeing to a five-year, $135 million extension, the largest in NFL history. That deal not only keeps him with the Detroit Lions for the foreseeable future, but it effectively guarantees that Green Bay Packers signal-caller Aaron Rodgers will reset the market again on his next contract.
Stafford came to terms on his new deal as he entered the final year of his existing contract. With the franchise tag set to increase significantly next offseason and the Lions losing leverage by the day, the two sides found enough common ground to strike an agreement.
The extension holds ramifications for several players, namely the elite quarterbacks nearing their own free agencies. Rodgers’ current deal runs through the 2019 season, but Packers president Mark Murphy hinted during March’s shareholders meeting that the team wants to extend him earlier. Should Green Bay wait until closer to 2019, other mega deals -- namely one for New Orleans Saints signal-caller Drew Brees -- could drive Rodgers’ price tag even higher.
Accordingly, the Packers will likely reach a new agreement with their franchise quarterback sometime within the next 12 months. Doing so locks Rodgers in for the lowest feasible cost while providing him with further financial security and the opportunity to finish his career in Green Bay.