ESPN is reporting the Lions and Matthew Stafford have agreed to a multi-year contract extension, which could be formally announced as early as today.
NFL reporter Adam Schefter tweeted this afternoon that the two sides were close to a "blockbuster extension."
Shortly thereafter, NFL reporter Ed Werder reported the two sides had agreed on a new deal worth $53 million of new money through 2017.
Stafford was the first-overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft and is entering his fifth season with the Lions. He has thrown for 10,005 yards combined in the last two seasons, highlighted by a 5,038 yard effort in 2011, when he led the Lions to the team's first postseason berth since 1991.
This April, Lions team president Tom Lewand told me, "The reasons for us to start discussions with Matthew about a long-term contract is because we want him to be our quarterback for the long term. It really is not any more complicated than that.
"A lot of people can analyze the salary cap situation and say, 'if you do 'x,' then you'll free up 'y' amount of money to do other things. I think that's a pretty narrow view of what the salary cap means and the restrictions that the salary cap places on the club.
"We have to look at the salary cap in a macro sense. When you look at Matthew only in the context of his salary cap numbers or how much room it would create you're really looking at a still picture in the overall movie and it doesn't tell the whole story about putting a team together around him as our franchise quarterback that can take us to where we want to go."
Also in April, Stafford said, "I want talent around me, frankly. There's opportunities - all around the league you see guys (Joe Flacco, Tony Romo) breaking records with how much they're making.
"You want fair market-value. I don't really care about breaking records much. I want to break records on the field. I want to win games. I want to have as many good players around me as I possibly can."
Tom Leyden is the WXYZ Sports Director. Follow Tom on Twitter: @TomLeyden
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