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Detroit Lions Links: Wrapping up This Week’s Matthew Stafford Deal, Examining Playoff Hopes

July 12th, 2013 at 8:33 AM
By Max DeMara

It's not every week the Detroit Lions lock up a cornerstone of their franchise with a giant contract extension, so spending one more day breaking down Matthew Stafford's big deal is in order. This time, the rest of the internet chimes in to provide additional details and opinions on the contract.

'Detroit Lions Quarterback Matthew Stafford' photo (c) 2010, Marianne O'Leary - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Also, with only a few weeks left until the opening of training camp, how likely are the Lions to make the playoffs, and who might give Detroit's return game a shot in the arm? That is covered, as well, in this week's edition of Lions Links.

  • Initially there was some confusion over the cap hit for Matthew Stafford and Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press clears it up. This year, Stafford will count $17.8 million against the cap, and next season, $15.8 million will be allocated for the quarterback. Those numbers substantially raise over time, with $22.5 million committed in 2016 and $22 million in 2017, which is certainly a hefty price to pay. Detroit Free Press
  • While those numbers are big and crooked, John Niyo of the Detroit News argues the Lions had to pay up in order to keep their quarterback, which is important to do. While Stafford will make plenty of money, now, all that's left for him to do is win. Detroit News
  • The next step for Detroit, ideally, is getting another franchise cornerstone locked up, this one on the defensive side of the ball. It's no secret the team wants to reach a long term agreement with Ndamukong Suh sooner rather than later. Another reassuring nugget? Next season, only three starters on the offensive and defensive side of the ball are projected to be free agents, in Brandon Pettigrew, Dominic Raiola and Jason Fox. Detroit Free Press
  • How likely is it that the Lions make the playoffs? Quite likely if you ask Bill Barnwell of Grantland.com, who uses plenty of statistical analytics to determine Detroit is the number one most likely team of last year's non-playoff bunch to make it back to the postseason. Barnwell is banking on the Lions improving upon a putrid turnover margin to win some of the close games they dropped in 2012. —Grantland.com
  • A bright spot to watch in camp is rookie running back Steven Miller, who has an outside shot of making a major impact for the Lions thanks to speed and play making ability. Miller might stand the best chance of becoming a top return option on special teams this fall, which could give Detroit a couple of legs up. —DetroitLions.com

Max DeMara is the managing editor of Lions 101. You can find him on his personal Twitter account @SportsGuyTheMax or on this site's Twitter @detroitlions101

Tags: Brandon Pettigrew, Detroit, Detroit Lions, Football, Matthew Stafford, Ndamukong Suh, NFL, Steven Miller

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