The most famous quote from the 1976 film All the President’s Men is “follow the money,” and boy oh boy, Matthew Stafford is about to get so paid that he’ll change his last name to $tafford. His contract expires at the end of this season and could be earning a yearly salary of about $25 million, and that could spell trouble for the Browns.
Any time a player goes into the last year of their deal, people can expect them to play out of their minds. Money is the best motivator. A good example I like to use is Kirk Cousins. How many more times is he going to play like a star and Washington keep franchise tagging him? Detroit isn’t going to make that mistake.
A year after Calvin Johnson retired, everyone wondered how Stafford would react to losing his favorite Transformer. In a word, great.
In 2016, he threw for 4,327 yards, 24 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, completing 65.3 percent of his passes and posting a 70.5 QBR (8th in the league) leading Detroit to a 9-7 record and a playoff berth. 2017 looks to be even more promising.
This matchup doesn’t seem to bode well for Cleveland. They’ll have their hands full with an already good Detroit team, with a star quarterback looking to get paid, who didn’t need the help of the leader of the Decepticons. How does Cleveland respond?