While I understand why it is the national media treats the Lions the way they do when they rightly deserve it is one thing. What Peter King did today is reprehensible.
During the draft, he put out a scathing piece talking about how badly Martin Mayhew got ripped off with Matt Stafford's contract. As my regular readers know, I totally disagree and here is why from my comments on my Draft Day blog: (5th down)
As I said about the money -- these initial reports ALWAYS inflate the values so the agent looks good -- and they are rounded up.
Most reliable info I have right now states that it is 41.7 mil guaranteed, with 72 mil for decent playing time, 78 mil if he is essentially a pro-bowler.
I have also heard that a big initial sticking point was 5yrs vs 6yrs -- the Lions wanted 6. If you look at 1.7 mil over the initial numbers floated about of 40 mil 5 yrs, you can see the Lions DID get a lot of value in their hardball negotiations -- an additional year for about 1.7 mil.
Not bad! Ryan went at 3 vs #1 overall. #1 usually has about 10% minimum increase over #3 for same position -- agent will try for 15% or more. There was a 10% increase in the cap.
So 20 - 25% increase is what the standard would be. Ryan at 36 million guaranteed with 72 million possible. Matt with roughly 42 million guaranteed and 78 million total.
The guaranteed money went up less than 17% and the total value only went up 8.3%.
When you look at it that way, you can see why Condon didn't want to sign on the deal, and that Mayhew did, in fact, do quite well in comparison to what the demands and expectations were to start out with from the player/agent side.
yes, the rookie pay scale is broken. But within the current context, the Lions did quite well.
Mr. King, like many other national media members, also has a thing for Mark "GQ" Sanchez. (must be the airbrushed abs) He is using his own interpretation of the numbers to prove a point. First off, here is the section from his MMQB article:
Mark Sanchez did fine with his five-year, $47.5-million deal with New York, obviously. But there was no pillaging of the Jets salary cap. The only way to judge these things is the way you judge real estate, and when you do it that way, the Jets got more house for their money than Detroit and Atlanta got for theirs.
Let's look at the quarterbacks picked in the top five of the last two years -- Matt Ryan third by Atlanta last year, Matthew Stafford first by Detroit this year, Sanchez fifth by the Jets this year). Ryan and Stafford signed six-year deals, but since Sanchez signed a five-year deal, let's compare apples to apples. Five years to five years. The money each will get over the first five years of their deals, with minimum playing-time incentives reached:
Player Year picked Five-year total Five-year average
Ryan 2008 $56.0 million $11.2 million
Stafford 2009 $61.0 million $12.2 million
Sanchez 2009 $47.5 million $9.5 million
Now, Ryan and Stafford both got picked higher than Sanchez. That's a factor. But it's interesting this deal got done now, when there wasn't any pressure to get a deal done, rather than five weeks from now on the verge of camp, when the Jets might have been forced to pay more.
The biggest thing I have to say is you are a hypocrite Peter! You said the Lions got taken to the cleaners at draft time – yet in your own “realistic numbers” comparison, the Lions are only paying Stafford 8.93% more per year than Ryan got – despite a 10% cap increase and being #1 overall versus #3 one year earlier. Please note, that according to Peter's own numbers, the value falls into the range I explained -- back on draft day two months ago! -- in comparison to Ryan for "money they are likely to earn" -- not the inflated numbers for "Agent Ego/Pay Purposes".
I think Peter -- and many others -- owe Martin Mayhew an apology for calling the Lions’ contract with Stafford outrageous, and claiming Mayhew "gave in" to Condon -- based on the comparison above, it looks like Mayhew managed to hang tough and get a reasonable deal despite being in a bad situation.
(I emailed Peter King – lets see if I make his mailbag!)
Next time Peter, how about you top twittering, NBC Prepping, column churning, and watching baseball for a while and gets some facts straight before lambasting a first-time GM in Mayhew just because it's "only the Lions." Had Scott Pioli, or Bill Polian, or another "trusted GM" written that contract, it wouldn't have taken two months to put out the numbers like was done on Monday, and it would have emphasized the 8.93% increase in likely money versus the "HUGE INCREASE" in guaranteed money that was trumpeted around.
I leave you again with: 10% increase in the cap, PLUS 1st pick versus 3rd -- yet look at those numbers and percentage increase in Stafford's likely pay to Ryan's. There is hope Lions fans -- it just takes time to sort out the facts sometimes.