“Matt has taken this situation with his contract in stride,” Quinn told fans on Saturday prior to the team’s mock game at Ford Field. “It doesn’t bother him and it doesn’t bother me. I’m confident we’ll get something done.
“There’s a long way to go on that, but it’s good on both sides.”
Stafford is in line to potentially become the NFL’s highest-paid player at more than $25 million per year. He said before training camp started that he had no timeline on when he wanted to have an extension done and that he would discuss with his agent whether they would negotiate a deal during the season.
The 29-year-old is in the final year of his contract, but there isn't much doubt he'll be back with the Lions next season. If Stafford and the Lions can’t come to terms, Detroit can use the franchise tag to lock Stafford up for another year.
Quinn’s comments are in line with what team president Rod Wood told ESPN in June, when he said he understands the franchise might have to make Stafford the league’s highest-paid player per year.
"I'm comfortable in getting a deal done with him, and we'll see where that ends up," Wood said. "It's going to be whatever it takes, I think, to make it happen from both sides, and whether he becomes the highest paid or not, it'll be a short-lived designation because, as Bob [Quinn] said, and I think it's true, if you're in the top whatever of quarterbacks, when your time comes up, your time comes up and then somebody else's time comes up, and they become the highest-[paid player].
"It’s a premium position, and you need to have a very, very good player at that position to be credible and be competitive, and I think we do have that, and we're working on getting a deal done."
Stafford is the franchise record holder in almost every major passing category. Not surprisingly, he deflected any questions about his contract talks after the Lions' mock game Saturday. Stafford answered some questions about his contract before camp started but has been mum on the topic since.
"I’m not talking about all that kind of stuff. I mean, that’s for those guys behind closed doors to figure out," Stafford said. "I’m out here enjoying this new, beautiful stadium and having fun playing ball."