Stafford knows Super Bowl ring separates him from elite

Matthew Stafford knows full well what separates him from the quarterbacks at the top of the food chain in terms of pay. It’s real simple.

A Super Bowl ring,” Stafford said earlier today, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.

He’s right about that. But while the $76.5 million the Detroit Lions quarterback will earn over the next five years doesn’t come close to where Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Joe Flacco are on the pay scale, it’s still a whopping $15.3 million per season. That still puts Stafford among the top-10 players in the NFL.

As importantly, it puts Stafford to get back to the bargaining table when this deal ends and he is 29 years old, still in his prime.

“That’s what those guys have. League MVP, Super Bowl rings, years of experience doing it,” Stafford said. “All of that. And I think that’s what is a great opportunity for me in the next four or five years is to get to that level, and hopefully, stay with this organization for a long time.”

Stafford, who has already earned $50.5 million, considered playing out his deal and gambling like Flacco did this past year. In the end, that didn’t motivate him.

“There were people out there that wanted me to do that, and I thought about it,” he said. “But I wanted to do what was right for the club and what was right for me. Like I said months ago, and you guys didn’t believe, I said I’m not in it to sign mega contracts, I’m in it to win games. I’m happy to be here, and I’m happy to do what I can to help this club and get as many players around as we can.”

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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