Correcting the record on Matthew Stafford’s contract

When the issue came up last week regarding possible trade talks involving Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, I checked contract numbers at and to determine: (1) Stafford’s cash payout in 2020; (2) Stafford’s cap number in 2020 if on the team; and (3) Stafford cap charge in 2020 if traded.

Per a league source with knowledge of the deal, the numbers posted by both contract-information websites ($8.3 million, $21.3 million, and $32 million, respectively) are not correct. Instead, the cash payout is $21.5 million, the cap number is $21.3 million, and the dead-cap money if Stafford were to be traded is $24.8 million.

That’s still a major chunk of cap space for the Lions to swallow if they trade Stafford, and there’s still no reason to believe the Lions will trade him.

For 2020, Stafford has a base salary of $15 million that reduces to $7.8 million, if/when a $7.2 million option bonus is exercised. (It stays at $15 million, if the option isn’t exercised.) Stafford also has a $6 million roster bonus due on the fifth day of the league year (March 22); it is a fully-guaranteed roster bonus and will be prorated, but remains earned and payable in 2020. Throw in a $500,000 workout bonus, and Stafford has a total cash payout of $21.5 million in 2020.

Again, the Lions aren’t looking to trade Stafford. Given the somewhat bizarre manner in which recent events unfolded on Thursday and Friday, it wouldn’t be a shock if a trade request ultimately is made by Stafford.