Report | Lions to make Matthew Stafford highest-paid in NFL history

DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 19: Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) walks off of the field at the conclusion of a preseason game between the New York Jets and the Detroit Lions on August 19, 2017 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire)
Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire

The Detroit Lions and quarterback Matthew Stafford have agreed on a five-year contract extension that will retain him through 2022, the team announced Monday.

The five-year deal will be worth $135 million, per NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, making him the highest-paid player in NFL history. ESPN’s Adam Schefter was the first to report that Stafford’s deal would be worth more than Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr’s, which he signed this offseason and is worth $25 million per year.

Stafford, 29, was set become an unrestricted free agent after this upcoming season. His reported new deal will have him signed with the Lions through 2022.

The former first overall pick of the 2009 NFL Draft, Stafford has led the Lions to the postseason three times, though they’ve yet to win an NFC North title in his tenure and have been eliminated in the Wild Card Round in all three postseason appearances.

Stafford played in just 13 games through the first two seasons of his career but has started all 16 games the last six seasons. He’s also compiled 4,000-plus passing yards the last six seasons and owns a career 61.5 completion percentage. He was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2014.

The former Georgia product threw 10 interceptions last season, a career-low for a season in which he’s started at least 10 games. He’s also totaled 20-plus touchdowns over the last six seasons, including a career-high 41 in 2011.

Stafford is the Lions’ franchise leader for career touchdowns (187) and passing yards (30,303). He was also the fastest player in NFL history to reach 30,000 career passing yards. His contract will likely serve as a benchmark for upcoming Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Matt Ryan and Aaron Rodgers, who are all set to become free agents within the next three offseasons.

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