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.
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.