Veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford was more than happy to be traded to the LA Rams. After all, he was considered a good quarterback on a bad team for many seasons with the Detroit Lions. Going west is the direction that has led many young men to their fame and fortune over the course of history.
“Go west, young man!” is a phrase often attributed to New York editor, Horace Greeley. Actually, the tale goes that Greeley shared “Go West, young man, and grow up with the country,” to his younger associate. It was that bit of sage that prompted Josiah B Grinnell to head west. You see, Grinnell, in turn, took that advice and founded the town of Grinnell, Iowa.
Good advice even to this day, it seems. While some have cited Matthew Stafford’s willingness to bargain in good faith with the LA Rams to sign a new contract extension, he was still well compensated. How well? Well, per Sportico.com’s latest World’s Highest-Paid Athletes, Stafford has done quite well for himself. In the past year, he has earned $70.3 million in salary and another $3 million in endorsements. That has catapulted him to 11th-overall highest-paid athlete and the top NFL highest-paid athlete.
How can that be? Well, Sportico did not apply the NFL salary cap rules. Rather they reviewed the past 12-month period and included all monies paid to that player, including signing bonuses and incentive pay for post-season play.
"“estimates are based on 12-month earnings between June 2021 and May 2022. The salary and prize money are inclusive of all bonuses paid during that time, including signings, incentives, playoffs and All-Star game pay” – per Sportico.com"
Stafford signed a contract extension with the LA Rams for four years. That extension was worth $160 million.
Of course, $60 million of that extension was paid to him upfront as a signing bonus. Now the $73.3 million comes a bit more into focus.
Highest paid? Wisely paid. Stafford pocketed over $70 million in cold cash, but the LA Rams salary cap hit for 2022 from the extension is just $13.5 million. Curiously, Stafford’s $3 million in endorsements is by far the lowest on Sportico’s top athlete earnings in professional sports. Still, if his latest AT&T commercial is any indication, that will increase dramatically. It won’t be long before his NFL salary is dwarfed by his endorsement deals.