Lions QB Stafford not worried about contract talks
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) - Matthew Stafford is taking a hands-off approach to his contract talks.
The Detroit quarterback has two years remaining on the deal he signed with the Lions when he was taken No. 1 overall in the 2009 draft. General manager Martin Mayhew said in January the team would make an effort to renegotiate or extend Stafford's contract.
Stafford said Tuesday he doesn't get too involved with negotiations.
"It's not easy for me to talk about addendums in a contract and all that kind of stuff,'' the 25-year-old quarterback said. "Contracts, as far as those go, I don't know everything there is to know about them. That's why you hire an agent.''
Asked if talks were ongoing, Stafford was coy.
"I would say that, I guess,'' he said. "I don't know. I'm not on the phone calls or anything like that, but I'm sure there's some sort of talks going on.''
After he was drafted, Stafford signed a six-year contract worth up to $78 million with $41.7 million in guarantees. He has since reportedly reworked the contract to help the Lions with free agency moves.
Stafford threw for 4,967 yards last season, but Detroit stumbled to a 4-12 record. That was after Stafford threw for 5,038 yards and 41 touchdowns the previous season, leading the Lions to the playoffs.
Detroit signed running back Reggie Bush this offseason in an effort to add another dimension to an offense that already includes Stafford and star receiver Calvin Johnson. Last year, the Lions signed Johnson to a long-term deal that runs through the 2019 season.
Stafford appears to be next in line.
It's already been a big contract year for quarterbacks. Super Bowl winner Joe Flacco got $52 million guaranteed in a six-year, $120.6 million contract he signed with Baltimore. Tony Romo signed a six-year extension with Dallas worth $108 million, with about half of that guaranteed.
Stafford said he'd like to be paid "fair market value'' but doesn't necessarily need a record-setting deal, especially if it would hamstring the team and prevent the Lions from building a talented roster around him.
"I want to break records on the field. I want to win games,'' Stafford said. "I want to have as many good players around me as I possibly can.''
The Lions obviously feel the same way, so Stafford is anticipating a long career in Detroit.
"I love being here, I love this team, and I would love to bring a winner here,'' he said. "The contract stuff will take care of itself. I'm really, honestly, not too involved with it.''
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