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Monday, April 27, 2009
Black and Blue all over: Stafford and his new city

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert

Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press tackles the delicate task of juxtaposing Matthew Stafford's record-setting contract with the severe economic problems facing his new city.

Sharp: "Stafford's a Detroiter now. The richest rookie contract in NFL history ensures that he'll never share the economic upheaval gripping many in his newly adopted city, but it's important that Stafford proves that he at least hears their pain. He must prove himself worthy of the work ethic that still defines Detroit, especially in crisis."

So far, so good, according to Sharp. Stafford will receive $41.7 million in guaranteed money over the next few years, but he spoke genuinely about finding a way to help Detroiters. I jumped into his interview session Sunday and heard him say he wanted to find an avenue he is "passionate" about so that he could participate in the recovery beyond simply writing a check.

Sharp suggested buying tickets for families who have lost their jobs, or buying some foreclosed homes and turning them over to families in need. Whatever it is, Stafford seems interested in helping. The best thing he can do, of course, is turn the Lions around.

Stafford: "I also want to give them something to cheer about on Sundays. Winning football games takes a lot off people's minds, and we have the unique opportunity as NFL players to provide an entertainment source for people."

We're getting a bit of a late start here Monday but I hope you understand. Before we start the sprint, let's take a quick look around the division on the morning after the draft. (Yes, it is still morning.)