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Lions’ Matthew Stafford on contract talks: What, me worry?

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

Allen Park — The Detroit Lions are back in town for the start of their offseason program, and while the draft looms large as the team prepares to round out its roster, the status of Matthew Stafford’s contract negotiations continue to be a hot topic.

Stafford says he isn’t thinking much about the negotiations, which are in their early stages. Given that Stafford and his wife welcomed twins into the world last month — the couple’s first children — he probably doesn’t have the free time to think about much of anything.

Matthew Stafford

Still, speaking to local media on Tuesday, the franchise quarterback was asked how important it was to him to get a deal done this offseason.

His answer amounted to a shrug.

“I think for me, I’m just here working out,” Stafford said. “If that stuff is going to get done, it’s going to get done. If it’s not, it’s not.  I can’t really worry about that too much. That’s why I have an agent. That’s why you hire him and let him deal with that kind of stuff. For me, it’s just going about my business. I’m under contract for another year and I’ll be here trying to lead this team and be as good as I can be.”

Stafford did acknowledge that he enjoys playing in Detroit and would love to continue his professional career with the organization.

“I’ve had a really good time playing here, would like to be here long-term, but that’s yet to be seen,” Stafford said.

Lions might not pass on receiver with first-round pick

While Stafford didn’t exactly express confidence a deal would get done this summer, that remains the expectation. The extension is also likely to make him the NFL’s richest player, topping the six-year, $140 deal signed by Colts quarterback Andrew Luck last season.

With an average annual value of $25 million, Stafford’s contract would eat up around 15 percent of the team’s current salary cap. He was asked how he balances maximizing his own value and leaving the team with funds to build a better team around him.

“That’s something for those guys to talk about and understand more than me,” Stafford said. “I know every year teams find ways to put good teams around good quarterbacks. You see it every year so I’m not too worried about that. I know salary caps, all that kind of stuff, is malleable as you want it to be. You just go and try to make a good decision, not only for the player, but the team, and go from there.”