Stafford Tier III?

Was just browsing the internets and came across this article. Has Stafford ranked as the 15th best QB in the third tier of elite


Perhaps no quarterback in the league tantalizes with high-end play as often as Stafford, though it usually comes out two to three times per season rather than an entire season at a time. At his best, Stafford makes throws with arm strength and accuracy, both on and off schedule. However, he’s only ranked in the top-10 in PFF grade twice in his career, and last season lacked the high-end brilliance from previous seasons. It was a much more conservative passing game last season and losing Golden Tate hurt Stafford’s production, as he ranked just 26th in positively grade plays, and his average depth of target on completions was only 5.1, the fourth-lowest mark in the NFL since 2016.

It’s a tricky balance when trying to tap into Stafford’s strong velocity and off-balance magic while trying to corral him into a safer brand of football, but much like Cousins, perhaps an unleashing is once again in order to see if he can carry the offense on the back of downfield chunk plays…”

I would agree with that ranking. Stafford is not an elite QB, but he is no where near the bottom. Right in the middle is a good place for him based on what we have seen from him over the years.

Probably pretty accurate. I think QB rankings can be pretty dynamic. Just because a guy is 15th overall doesn’t mean he can’t be the best QB in the league for a few games or one of the worst QBs in the league for a season.
I think people get way too fixated on rankings, tiers, and if a guy is “elite” or not. Almost every starting QB in the NFL has the ability to be the best guy in the league on any particular week. There have been games where Winston and Bortles have looked like All Pro QBs. There have been games where Brady and Brees have looked pretty bad.

When Stafford is on, he is right up there at the top. When Stafford is off, he can look pretty awful. Matt Stafford can look like he is a top tier 1 QB some times and he can look like a tier 4 or 5 QB sometimes. But other than maybe 3 or 4 QBs in the league, I think that is pretty true for everyone.

But really, in the long run, does it really matter where people rank him?

These rankings have some questionable reasoning for a lot of guys.

That’s about where I’d put Stafford in a snap shot.

He’d be a lot lower if they factored in the price tags of these guys. Kind of a “bang for your buck” list.

I think he is a tier II myself

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In the grand scheme of these things every year when they come out, Stafford is typically rated a few spots too low. And per usual, the list has guys in the top 10 area who haven’t shown enough yet to put them there. Some of them will fail, just like every other year, and then we start the cycle all over again overrating young QBs.

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Stafford would probably be somewhat higher in the makings if he didn’t have to work with shit teams and shit coaching for the most part. Put him in New England and Belicheck and see what he does. Put Brady or Brees in Detroit for the last 10 years and see what they do.

Which is not to say Stafford should be considered an elite QB, cuz he isn’t, not yet anyway. His accuracy isn’t what I think should be expected of an elite QB, but again some of that goes back to his protection, his receivers’ ability to get open and catch the damn ball, and the offensive schemes and plays called. Consider this:

In the Arizona game, Matthew Stafford had a 63.9 QB rating when under pressure. Checked in at 143.6 when he was kept clean. And Matthew Stafford was pressured on 47.1% of his dropbacks, second most among starting quarterbacks in Week 1. Anybody wanna tell me how much difference it would have made to him and the Lions if they had a reasonably good OL in that game?

That’s pretty much the way it is in the NFL, outside of a few guys like Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson, who are escape artists par excellence. All QBs face pressure, no doubt about that, but it oughta be obvious that Stafford faces more than just about anybody and he does it on a weekly, monthly, and yearly basis. Would he be a better QB on a better football team? I would say so.

And BTW, none of these rankings mean a damn thing anyway,


I think 15th is about accurate at this point. Is his price tag really that high? Is he even in the top ten as far as salary? I feel like at the time it seemed expensive but as of today he’s fairly cheap. I think he would be very tradeable after this year if it doesn’t work out.

Matt Stafford has the highest cap hit of any player in the NFL this season, so yes, his price tag really is that high. His hit is 29.5 million. Cousins is 2nd at 29,0 million.

15.7% of the cap. For one player. Who is tier 2 at best.

Good news is that he gets cheaper in 2021… Or he becomes a nice trade for picks…

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I disagree with you on the picks.
If he plays well, why would you trade him?
And if he plays poorly, why would other teams trade anything of value for him?

In typical contract terms I totally agree with this assessment. However, when you go look at the details of Stafford’s contract…that is not the case. The only time Stafford’s contract really “fades” and becomes a relatively cheaper deal is the final year. His cap hit is $29.5M this year, $31.5M next year and $30M the following year. Then in 2022 it “fades” to $23M…all according to overthecap.

One “quirk” to Stafford’s contract is that he has money that is guaranteed the year before. So being our QB in 2019 guarantees money in 2020 and so forth. So cutting him or trading him doesn’t “save” what people think it should save.

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Well, I understand but there’s always a team that will blame the Lions. "Lions just didn’t use him right. And he’s the right price for the trade partner. They’ll pay about 2/3 of what we’re paying.

They also might have the offense where he fits because we will have gone for a more mobile and younger QB if we trade him.

He’ll always look good enough for someone to take a chance on him. Coaches think they can work with him.

Ok, that’s the best I got.

I’m pretty sure I could start a thread that says “Stafford likes spaghetti!” and people would still find a way to turn it into an argument.


You could start a thread that says “This is why I like spaghetti” and it would turn into a Stafford argument.


“Speaking of noodles, have you seen Stafford’s arms lately? China doll is looking weak! Matty Angel Hair needs to go!”


this is EXACTLY right, and the metric you used to support your point was as accurate as we can possibly get too. Every word of this post rings true. That’s precisely why I would have both him and (thought I hate to say it) Rodgers :face_vomiting: higher than they are listed.

Ahh, thanks for the clarification guys.

Tier 2 last week
Tier 4 this week

Hopefully he’s tier 1 next week because the Lions need him to play well.

right…game winning TD pass that few in the NFL could match.