Lions make Matthew Stafford highest-paid player in National Football League, reports say

Lions make Matthew Stafford highest-paid player in National Football League, reports say

Per Schefter's reporting, Stafford's new deal will surpass the $25 million Carr received annually on the extension he signed during the spring.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport says the deal is worth $135 million over the five years.

The first-overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft out of Georgia, Stafford took over a winless Detroit club that has made the playoffs three years under his watch.

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Stafford is the Lions' franchise leader for career touchdowns (187) and passing yards (30,303).

In 16 games past year for the Detroit Lions, Stafford threw for 4,327 yards with 24 touchdowns and 10 interceptions while leading the Lions to a 9-7 record.

While Stafford is just 5-46 against teams with winning records, he led eight comeback victories last season to help the Lions go 9-7 and reach the playoffs. He declined what would have been his second Pro Bowl appearance as an alternate to rest his injured finger. But given the way contracts work for quarterbacks these days - each competent one sets the National Football League record whenever he re-ups - Stafford was widely expected to surpass it. He's passed for at least 4,000 yards in each of the last six seasons in Detroit. 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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