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Lions, Stafford finalize contract extension

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The Detroit Lions announced Wednesday morning that the team signed quarerback Matthew Stafford to a contract extension.

The three-year extension runs through the 2017 season and is worth $53 million, according to multiple reports. The additional money puts Stafford's contract at approximately $76.5 million over the next five seasons -- including the remaining two years on his rookie contract. Of that total, $43 million is guaranteed.

Stafford was scheduled to count $20.8 million against the salary cap in 2013, but the bonus money should bring immediate relief the Lions can use to shift their attention to ongoing negotiations with defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh on a long-term deal.

Stafford, 25, is one of four quarterbacks with 5,000 passing yards in a season (Dan Marino, Drew Brees, Tom Brady).

A former No. 1 draft pick, Stafford joins a long line of quarterbacks who cashed in over the past two seasons, including Brees, Peyton Manning, Joe Flacco, Tony Romo and Aaron Rodgers. Atlanta Falcons starter Matt Ryan and Jay Cutler of the Chicago Bears could get new deals that top $100 million before March 2014.

Stafford made more than $50 million in his first four seasons, leading the Lions to the postseason in 2011.

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