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Report: “Substantial gap” between Lions and Matthew Stafford

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford can afford to go year-to-year and play under the franchise tag, which will force the Lions to come up with an even better offer.

There’s no reason for Matthew Stafford to be in a hurry to get a new contract, not with the chance to go year-to-year like Kirk Cousins and strike it rich.

So unless the Lions are going to make a big offer now, it stands to reason things will be slow.

According to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, there’s “still a pretty substantial gap,” in the negotiations between the Lions and Stafford.

Stafford’s entering the final year of the deal he signed in 2013, and figures to eclipse Derek Carr as the biggest contract in the league if he does a long-term deal.

But if they can’t do a long-term deal, he’d make $26.4 million in 2018 via the franchise tag, and he could top $100 million over three seasons if he plays under the tag the two years after that.

Stafford has said he has “no timetable,” but the two sides continue to talk.