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Lions hope to extend Matthew Stafford's contract

By Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
The Lions are trying to extend Matthew Stafford's contract, according to GM Martin Mayhew. (US Presswire)

In 2012, Matthew Stafford ranked 22nd in passer rating. This year he'll count a whopping $20.82 million against the cap.

The Lions hope to extend his contract, which runs through 2014, so they can lessen his cap impact, according to a DetroitLions.com report.

"My thought on that is that we're going to try to extend him," general manager Martin Mayhew said. "There hasn't been a whole lot of dialogue about it at this point, but I think that's coming."

Stafford, entering the fifth year of a six-year, $72 million deal, finished 22nd in passer rating (79.8) and 18th in completion percentage (59.8) while leading the league with 727 pass attempts. He threw just 20 touchdowns against 17 interceptions.

But in 2011 he showed his full potential, throwing 41 scoring passes.

The report compared the Lions' desire to extend Stafford with last year's Calvin Johnson deal. Even though it was for eight years and $132 million, it helped the Lions avoid a $21 million cap hit.

"It's never easy," Mayhew said. "You're talking about a quarterback that's your starter, that's a quality player, that's a talented guy and I think one of the better young quarterbacks in the NFL. So it'll be a challenge. But most of them, for good players, they're a challenge. The easy (contracts), usually (those players) aren't that good."

The Lions have saved $8.5 million for 2013 by releasing wideout Titus Young, defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch and guard Stephen Peterman. They're nearly $5 million under the projected $121 million cap, according to the report.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS Feed, watch Pro Football 360 daily at 3 ET and NFL newsletter. You can also follow Larry Hartstein @LarryHartstein.

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