Stafford could face letdown on draft day

Originally Published: March 30, 2009
By Bill Barnwell | Football Outsiders
How could you end up with $22 million and still be grossly disappointed?

If you want to give it a shot, try being Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford on draft day.Stafford, the projected No. 1 overall pick in most mock drafts, would be in line for the biggest contract in the history of the NFL draft. Miami OT Jake Long signed a five-year, $57 million deal last year as the first pick and Stafford would expect to receive about 5 percent more than Long's pick just by virtue of the draft's yearly inflation, and when you consider that quarterbacks are often higher-paid in draft slots than other players, Stafford could see a contract beyond $60 million for five years.

However, if he falls, the descent could be steep. He could end up at No. 4 to the Seahawks and get a deal closer to $53 million. If he dropped all the way to San Francisco at No. 10, he'd likely see a deal in the range of $22 million, costing him about 65 percent of the money he'd have earned if the Lions took him with the first pick.

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Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) is a staff writer for Grantland.