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Stafford, Lions Agree To Terms On Three-Year Extension
As staffer Tim Twentyman framed it: "When the Lions made Matthew Stafford the No. 1-overall pick of the 2009 NFL Draft, they were confident they'd finally found their franchise quarterback. ..." They confirmed that confidence with their checkbook on Tuesday.

According to multiple reports (with ESPN's Adam Schefter getting the ball rolling), Stafford has agreed to a three-year contract extension that is worth $53 million in new money. He had two years and $23.5 million remaining on his previous deal. That puts the value of his remaining five years with the Lions at $76.5 million

He is now under contract with the Lions through the 2017 season and is set to receive $41.5 million in guaranteed money.

Worth noting, Stafford will only be 29 years old when the deal is up, which means he's still in line for one more "mega" deal if he performs over the next five seasons.

Stafford already holds franchise single-season records for passing yards, touchdowns, completions and attempts. He could also become the franchise's all-time passing leader this season if he accrues at least 2,903 yards, which will pass Bobby Layne's franchise mark of 15,710.

He struggled to stay healthy in his first two years, playing in just 13 games over two seasons, but flourished in 2011 with 41 TD passes while completing 64 percent of his attempts and throwing 16 touchdowns.

Stafford threw for 4,967 yards last season, but the Lions stumbled to a 4-12 record. He threw more interceptions (17) and had less than half as many touchdown passes (20) last year as he did in 2011, when he led the Lions to the playoffs.

Nonetheless, Stafford surpassed 10,000 career-passing yards last year, a milestone he reached in just 37 games (only Kurt Warner, who needed just 36, did it faster).

And there's room for growth.

Despite ending up 33 yards short of becoming the first player to pass for 5,000 yards in successive seasons, and leading the league in completions, his overall efficiency ranked 22nd. He had some things working against him -- a depleted receiver corps, slumping tight ends and a spotty run game. He also still gets happy feet at times and rushes throws. His accuracy decreased. His game management needs work, too.

But the talent, the ability to generate big chunks of offense in a hurry, the competitiveness, the fearlessness -- everything you want in a franchise QB is there.

As the Sports Xchange understated it "Throwing for (nearly) 10,000 yards and 61 touchdowns in two seasons is no joke."

Having Calvin Johnson (and now Reggie Bush) on board should help ensure Stafford doesn't become a punchline this year. Also worth noting: Unlike past seasons, when he spent time rehabbing or training away from Detroit, has made it a point to spend all offseason at the Lions' facility.