Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford doesn’t have a Super Bowl ring or even a single playoff victory eight NFL seasons. But the Lions just made him the highest-paid player in the league. Stafford signed a five-year $135 million contract with the franchise on Monday.
The 29-year-old Stafford has been in the NFL since 2009, after the Lions drafted him with the first overall pick of the 2009 draft after the Lions’ infamous 0-16 2008 season. Since then, he’s led the Lions to three postseason appearances and won the 2011 NFL Comeback Player of the Year award. He also made the Pro Bowl in 2014.
Although Stafford does not have a social media presence, you can follow his wife, Kelly Stafford, on Instagram. They have been married since April 2015 and have twin daughters who were born in March 2017.
Here’s what you need to know about Stafford’s net worth and his new contract.
1. Stafford Had an Estimated Net Worth of $35 Million Before Signing the New Contract
Before he signed his new deal, Stafford had an estimated net worth of $35 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Considering he got a $50 million bonus just for signing the new deal, that number has likely gone up significantly.
It’s also notable that Spotrac reports that he’s earned $110.7 million from the Lions in his first eight seasons. Forbes reports that Stafford earns $1.5 million in endorsements. He ranked #18 on Forbes’ 2014 list of highest-paid athletes.
Stafford was born in Tampa, but grew up in Dallas where he graduated from Highlight Park High School. He attended the University of Georgia and skipped his senior season to enter the 2009 NFL draft. The Lions took him with the first overall pick following their historically terrible 0-16 season.
Since his injury-shortened 2010 season, Stafford has played in all 16 games every season. He has a 51-58 record. In 2016, he let the Lions to a 9-7 season with a 65.3 completion percentage, 24 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions.
2. Stafford’s Contract Makes Him the Highest-Paid NFL Player in History With a $27 Million Average Annual Salary
Stafford’s new contract was first reported by ESPN. It makes him the highest-paid NFL player in history, with an average annual salary of $27 million. It works out to $135 million over five years.
According to Spotrac, the terms of the contract included a $50 million signing bonus, with $60.5 million guaranteed at signing. Overall, $92 million of the $135 million is guaranteed.
For the first season of the deal, Stafford will earn a $1 million base salary, with the team taking a $16.5 million cap hit. The base salary jumps up to $9.5 million in 2018; $13.5 million in 2019; $15 million in 2020; $9.5 million in 2021; and $12.5 million in 2022. He will be an unrestricted free agent in 2023.
Before Stafford, the highest-paid player was Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, but he only had the title for a month. Carr’s contract is five years, $125 million with a $25 million average annual salary.
3. Stafford Bought a $3.85 Million Atlanta Mansion in July
Stafford recently made a big purchase. In July, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported that Stafford bought a $3.85 million estate that covers 9,838 square feet.
The Business Chronicle notes that it was built in 2015 and listed for $3.89 million. It has eight bathrooms, three half-bedrooms, eight bedrooms, a guest house, Jacuzzi, cabana, a theater and a wine cellar. The previous owner was Sreeni Prabhu, the co-CEO and Chief Investment Officer of Angel Oak Capital Investors.
You can find pictures of the home at Dorsey Alston Realtors.
4. Stafford Reportedly Gave Away Free Nikes at His Wedding to Kelly
Stafford reportedly went all out on his wedding to Kelly Hall in April 2015. TMZ reported that Stafford gave guests a free pair of Nike shoes and custom airbrushed trucker hats. After the wedding the couple were seen leaving the reception in a vintage Rolls-Royce.
Before the wedding, CBS Detroit reported that Stafford and Kelly listed several high-priced items on their wedding registry. They were registered at Williams-Sanoma.
Williams-Sanoma is known for their high prices and incredibly detailed descriptions of mundane items, which has often earned ridicule.
5. Stafford Donated $1 Million in 2015 to Help Renovate a Detroit Football Field for Children
In October 2015, Stafford’s Score7 Charitable Foundation teamed up with Mitch Albom’s S.A.Y. Detroit to renovate a recreation center in Lipke Park that had been closed since 2014. As MLive.com notes, the renovations included building a new football field, which was named Stafford Football Field.
“I think the biggest thing is that this is just the beginning,” Stafford said. “As much fun as its going to be fun to come out here, get Megatron to come out here and throw some footballs. I’m equally as excited for whats going on inside this building and give the opportunity to help these kids and help them learn.”
The Detroit Free Press reported that Stafford pledged $1 million to the project, spread over 10 years.
Stafford continues to be charitable and gives his time to Detroit causes when he can. For example, The Free Press reported in December 2016 that Stafford and Kelly hosted the families of two fallen Detroit police officers. Kelly shared photos of the families visiting their home.
“Kelly and I have done that for, not always an officer, but somebody, one or two families here and there, during the holidays the past five, six years, I think,” Stafford told the Free Pressg. “Just something that we obviously feel fortunate to kind of have the platform that we have and surely don’t do it to get asked about it in this session, but just happy to hopefully bring some cheer to some people in the holidays that have maybe had a tough time, and this year was a great opportunity considering I did two families with fallen police officers, people that protect us and lost their lives in the line of duty. Something we felt was important and just happy to do it.”