Lions QB Stafford says he's ignoring contract implications
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) Matthew Stafford has made enough money already that his newborn twin daughters should be just fine, financially, for life. The Detroit Lions are expected to give their quarterback a new deal that will set up his family for generations.
After going through a minicamp practice this week, he insisted the implications of a new contract are not on his mind.
''The only time I ever talk about it or think about it is when you guys ask me questions about it, honestly,'' Stafford said. ''I just go out there and play ball.''
Stafford has said many times he wants to stay with Detroit. The Lions have made it clear they want to keep the 29-year-old Stafford.
The time to talk seems to be now, or soon, because he is entering the last season of his $53 million, three-year contract and training camp starts in several weeks.
Stafford might get more than the $140 million, six-year deal Andrew Luck signed last year with the Indianapolis Colts. He or his agent, Tom Condon, probably will not want to settle for less than the Oakland Raiders give Derek Carr in his next deal. Carr, who is entering the last year of his contract, has said if he does not have an extension before training camp starts at the end of July, he would play out the final year of his rookie deal in 2017.
Stafford, though, is not publicly making similar statements.
''No timetable,'' he said.
Stafford tried to make light of the amount of time he might be missing left tackle Taylor Decker, who is out indefinitely after having shoulder surgery.
''The guy is not dead,'' he said. ''He's going to be back.''
Detroit drafted Stafford No. 1 overall in 2009 and gave him $41.7 million in guarantees in a $78 million, six-year contract. After injuries stunted his first two seasons, the former Georgia star played in every game the next six years. Stafford has reached the playoffs three times, including last year, but has not won a playoff game for a franchise with one postseason victory since 1957.
Jim Caldwell has been Stafford's coach for three seasons, compiling a 27-21 record in the regular season, 0-2 in the postseason, and has witnessed Stafford's mental development.
''Going into the same system - going into your eighth, ninth and 10th year - there's more clear understanding,'' Caldwell said. ''You are seeing him making strides, more comfortable, fewer things that he has to really think about in terms of how to manage certain aspects of the position in relationship to our scheme, better.''
In relationship to Stafford's life, he is entering unchartered territory. He'll spend his first Father's Day as a dad on Sunday. On March 31, his wife, Kelly, gave birth to twin daughters, Chandler and Sawyer. Stafford can tell them apart, but said he sometimes struggles to identify them in pictures. The last thing he's concerned with, he said, is taking care of his growing family with his next contract.
''I'm not too worried about that,'' Stafford said with a grin. ''I'm sure they'll be fine.''
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