Matthew Stafford is the quarterback of the Detroit Lions. He is guaranteed to receive forty million dollars to be the quarterback of the Detroit Lions. He is a remarkably talented starting quarterback, in a league where starting quarterbacks determine the majority of a franchise’s success. Many franchises try for years—if not decades—to get their hands on a quarterback like Matthew Stafford. The Detroit Lions had waited longer than any other franchise to get their hands on a quarterback of this caliber.
Shaun Hill is the backup quarterback of the Detroit Lions. Just a few weeks ago, many fans were calling for Hill to remain the starter even after Stafford was cleared to play. Hill is a savvy veteran quarterback, who knows the Lions’ system. The Lions have won with him at the helm this season. He has a career 32/18 TD-INT ratio, 85.1 passer rating, and 11-11 record as a starter. He is under contract through the 2011 season.
The Detroit Lions cannot, and therefore will not, acquire a quarterback who would be an immediate upgrade over Matthew Stafford or Shaun Hill for the 2010 season. As above, good NFL quarterbacks are both rare and valuable. Therefore, any quarterback who is not currently under contract in the NFL is not a good NFL quarterback. Any quarterback brought in midseason will not understand the offense well enough, fast enough, to execute it better than Shaun Hill during any point in the season.
The Detroit Lions cannot, and therefore will not, acquire a quarterback whose long-term upside equals or surpasses Matthew Stafford’s in the forseeable future. Again, such quarterbacks are vanishingly rare—and are available only by drafting at the top of the first round, or by trading astonishing amounts of value. Even if the Lions had the #1 overall pick to spend on the best available quarterback in the draft, they could not afford to sink $160 million into two quarterbacks. Any quarterback acquired in the second round or lower will be at a steep disadvantage to Stafford for 2011 and beyond—in terms of raw physical talent, physical maturity, understanding of the offense, and game experience.
These are the facts. Whatever you want to make up on your own time is fine. Whatever scenarios you play with in your head, that’s great. Keep them there. Do not waste all of our time, effort, and brain cells by calling up WDFN and telling Killer that you have this great idea where the Lions should sign Jeff George.