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Friday, April 24, 2009
The deadline issue for Detroit, Stafford

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert

Many of you are wondering whether there is a hard deadline for Detroit and quarterback Matthew Stafford to agree on a contract before the Lions move on to Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry.

From what I understand about the state of negotiations, and in examining several media reports, the issue of a deadline is getting close to being moot. There has been enough progress on issues, and the Lions have enough of a commitment to drafting Stafford, that it wouldn't make sense to break off talks and shift gears at this point.

A contract could be completed Friday night, Saturday morning or even later. Yes, it's not out of the question that the Lions could draft Stafford even if they haven't completed negotiations. Thomas George of NFL.com reports the Lions have already made that decision, and I think it makes sense. Detroit has come this far with Stafford, and it's clear he is their target. There's no reason to allow an artificial deadline to force a dramatic organizational shift.