Lions Hold All the Leverage with Stafford

by JJ Cooper

If Matt Stafford is taken first overall, he's likely to sign a deal worth more than $75 million that guarantees him more than $35 million. If he slides, every pick he drops could cost him massive amounts of money.

And because of that, the Lions have a good chance to get their franchise quarterback at a solid deal. If they want to drive a hard bargain with Stafford, they can present him with a very difficult decision. Take a less-than-market-value contract at No. 1, or take his chances that he won't slide too far by passing on it.

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Now all of this is based on the assumption that the Lions are interested in taking Stafford. But if they are, they could offer him a deal nearly identical to the one Matt Ryan signed in 2008 (six years, $72 million with $34.75 million guaranteed) as the No. 3 pick last year, and tell him to take it or leave it.

Lions Hold All the Leverage with Stafford originally appeared on NFL FanHouse on Tue, 31 Mar 2009 10:01:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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