Matthew Stafford’s extension is critical to keeping the superstars together

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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The LA Rams love to take risks. But even they raised the bar at the end of the 2020 season when they traded a playoff-tested young starting quarterback in Jared Goff and three draft picks to headline the NFL offseason a year ago.

Trading for veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford, who was the longtime face of the Detroit Lions franchise, was not easy. It was a risky move.  But it was the centerpiece of the LA Rams 2021 offseason. From that point on, all other roster transactions were conducted to make that move better for the team. And, that trade arguably led to the Rams winning Super Bowl LVI. Matthew Stafford’s contract extension now looms over the LA Rams 2022 offseason.

But even when the Rams traded for Stafford, they understood that they were acquiring a player whose current contract expires at the end of the 2022 NFL season. While some saw the trade itself as enough to justify the conclusion that the team had gone All-In, others saw the fact that they traded for Stafford without extending him as the evidence necessary. Two years. The clock was ticking.

Stafford is the Rams epicenter

Everything revolves around Matt Stafford and his future in Los Angeles, from free agency to the NFL draft, but what does that future look like for the team? Well, it all starts with how long can the Rams count on Stafford to suit up under center?

At age 34, Matthew Stafford is the third oldest full-time starting quarterback after the retirements of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Rothlisberger. While 34 is not that old for a quarterback, it is crucial to his contract extension.

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As has been previously pitched, a five-year $200 million contract would leave the LA Rams in a position to reevaluate Stafford’s contract at age 38 for an extension or age 39 if the Rams are willing to risk him testing free agency. To be fair, that would probably be or nearly be the end of the road for a very long NFL career.