More specifics on Matthew Stafford’s extension: It’s effectively a 3-year extension worth $129M — $43M a year. There are added years for cap purposes. But $43M over the next 3 of the deal. And Stafford took less than he could’ve to help build on a Super Bowl-caliber team. https://t.co/ZTI3EWtgF0
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 19, 2022
Where does Stafford rank among quarterbacks in salary?
It’s a slightly surprising contract insofar as the last quarterback to get paid generally makes the most in the modern NFL. This contract puts Stafford slightly higher than Dak Prescott and below Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson, Patrick Mahomes, and Josh Allen — a reasonable bracket for a quarterback at his age with his pedigree.
NFL’s highest-paid quarterbacks
Rank Player Average annual value
1 Aaron Rodgers $50.3 million
2 Deshaun Watson $46 million
3 Patrick Mahomes $45 million
4 Josh Allen $43 million
5 Matthew Stafford $43 million
6 Dak Prescott $40 million
7 Russell Wilson $35 million
8 Jared Goff $33.5 million
9 Kirk Cousins $33 million
10 Carson Wentz $32 million
Stafford knocked Matt Ryan out of the top-10 with his new deal.
NFL quarterback contracts with the most guaranteed money
Rank Player Total guarantees
1 Deshaun Watson $230 million
2 Aaron Rodgers $150.6 million
3 Josh Allen $150 million
4 Patrick Mahomes $141.5 million
5 Matthew Stafford $135 million
6 Dak Prescott $126 million
7 Jared Goff $110 million
8 Carson Wentz $108 million
9 Russell Wilson $107 million
10 Matt Ryan $100 million
Stafford currently ranks eighth all-time in career earnings at $239 million. He will rise up that ladder with his recent extension as he will pass retired QBs in Philip Rivers, Peyton Manning, Ben Rothelisberger and Drew Brees.
MORE: NFL’s highest-paid quarterbacks by 2022 salary, guaranteed money and total contract value
What’s next for the Rams?
This deal will reportedly lower Stafford’s cap hit from the $23 million he was slated to have in 2022. The Rams must have renegotiated the deal with someone else in mind for free agency, having already signed receiver Allen Robinson and left tackle Joe Noteboom to contracts. Za’Darius Smith and Bobby Wagner are two of the biggest names left on the market, although it Smith is looking for a Chandler Jones-sized contract that remains unlikely for Los Angeles.
There’s also the matter of Odell Beckham Jr., although the Rams already have a bevy of receivers on the roster. It’s hard to imagine them negotiating too much with Beckham, particularly with Stafford already locked up. With that being said, Aaron Donald’s future in the NFL remains in the balance, and the Rams failing to sign Von Miller may have the front office feeling the pressure to bring back at least one of the players Donald cited as weighing in his decision to retire or not, regardless of need.
What are Stafford’s career earnings?
While it often doesn’t work this way, Stafford was in a position to take a pay-cut. Should he play out this contract, his career earnings would be $422 million. Stafford currently ranks eighth all-time in career earnings at $246 million. He will rise up that ladder with his recent extension, set to pass retired QBs in Philip Rivers, Peyton Manning, Ben Rothelisberger and Drew Brees with his recent extension.
Will Stafford play out the full deal?
This deal seems primed to let Stafford finish his career our in Los Angeles. The quarterback has been bruised and battered throughout his career, and it’s hard to imagine him playing until he’s 40. Stafford will be 39 at the time this contract expires, so whether or not he plays out the entire thing it’s clear that he wants to give the Rams room to build a competitor around him for as long as he’s in L.A.