NFC North: Peyton Maning
Kansas City's contract agreement Tuesday with quarterback Matt Cassel brought to mind this offseason post on the crazy money Detroit's Matthew Stafford received as the No. 1 overall pick in the draft.
Cassel, who threw for nearly 3,700 yards last season in leading New England to an 11-5 record, received $28 million in guaranteed money over a six-year deal from the Chiefs. That's about a third less than the $41.7 million the Lions guaranteed Stafford.
I don't necessarily fault Detroit for the deal; it was more or less the cost of doing business in this year's draft. But we've had two significant quarterback deals since April -- Cassel and Philadelphia's Donovan McNabb ($23 million guaranteed) -- and our ranking of contracts with the highest total of guarantees remains the same. Here it is, for those who want a refresher:
- Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford: $41.7 million
- Washington defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth: $41 million
- Atlanta quarterback Michael Vick: $37 million
- Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger: $36 million
- Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan: $34.8 million
- Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning: $34.5 million
- Oakland quarterback JaMarcus Russell: $31.5 million
- Dallas quarterback Tony Romo: $30 million
What player will break the $30 million threshold? And how long will Stafford remain atop the list? My colleague Matt Mosley suggested earlier this month that New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning will approach $50 million in guaranteed money. I'll continue revisiting this topic until that day arrives.