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Matthew Stafford is much-maligned in some circles and a lot of the criticism that the Detroit Lions quarterback receives is based on a lack of team success. However, that reportedly won’t stop Stafford from potentially ascending to the perch as the highest paid player in the NFL.

ESPN’s Michael Rothstein caught up with Lions president Rod Wood, who indicated that the Lions are greatly focused on Stafford and would do “whatever it takes” to keep him long-term.

“I’m comfortable in getting a deal done with him, and we’ll see where that ends up. It’s going to be whatever it takes, I think, to make it happen from both sides, and whether he becomes the highest-paid or not, it’ll be a short-lived designation because, as (general manager) Bob (Quinn) said, and I think it’s true, if you’re in the top whatever of quarterbacks, when your time comes up, your time comes up and then somebody else’s time comes up, and they become the highest-(paid player).”

Wood’s notion that the next top-tier quarterback to hit free agency will almost always cross the threshold is an accurate one, especially with players like Derek Carr coming up for new deals in the future. Still, it will be very tough for some people to consider Stafford, who universally is not considered a top-5 quarterback, being the highest paid player in the nation’s most popular sport.

Still, the 29-year-old, entering the final year of his contract, threw for 4,327 yards and 24 touchdowns against 10 interceptions last season. He’s also a Pro Bowl Player (2013) who has thrown for more than 30,000 yards in his career, and owns the NFL record for most passing yards in his first 100 games. He’s also the Lions’ all-time leader in every major passing category for the Lions, and he doesn’t even turn 30 until next February.

So what’s that worth? The Detroit Free Press says Stafford is expected to get $25 million per year — or more.

Being a quarterback is nice.

Rowland is a lifelong Atlanta sports fan that also grew up in a Michigan Wolverines household. He previously worked with FanSided, SB Nation and UPROXX sports and covers college football for FanBuzz.
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