The Los Angeles Rams have agreed to a four-year, $160 million contract with quarterback Matthew Stafford, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Saturday. The new contract pays Stafford $135 million guaranteed, which would be the third-largest guarantee in NFL history in the wake of Aaron Rodgers and Deshaun Watson signing mega-deals in the last week that paid them even more than that.
But for the Rams, it ties them to Stafford through 2026 and gives him a $40 million per year salary in new money.
Rams and Matthew Stafford finalized a four-year, $160 million extension that includes $135 million guaranteed that should allow the veteran QB to finish his career in Los Angeles, sources tell ESPN.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 19, 2022
Though $40 million per year is a lot, it only ties Stafford with Dak Prescott for the fifth-highest in football. That tells me that Stafford is giving the Rams a discount and helping the team save money and cap space that could be used on other players around him. It seems hard to believe that $40 million is “cheap” by any standards, but Stafford could have gotten more than that on the open market given what we saw recently from Rodgers and Watson.
Josh Allen makes $43 million per year, Patrick Mahomes is at $43 million per year, and Watson is at $46 million per year.
Update: Stafford is getting $43 million per year over the first three-years of the NEW contract, so he ties Allen and Mahomes.
More specifics on Matthew Stafford’s extension: It’s effectively a 3-year extension worth $129M — $43M a year. There are added years for cap purposes. But $43M over the next 3 of the deal. And Stafford took less than he could’ve to help build on a Super Bowl-caliber team. https://t.co/ZTI3EWtgF0— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 19, 2022
Stafford threw 41 touchdowns in his first season in Los Angeles and helped guide the Rams to fourth quarter victories against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Francisco 49ers, and Cincinnati Bengals in the playoffs. His presence also helped Cooper Kupp win Offensive Player of the Year in 2021, setting new records at the wide receiver position.
He will now be with the Rams through his age 38 season. That means Stafford could still have more huge contract extensions in his future.