Report: Lions in final negotiations with quarterback Matthew Stafford

According to, the Detroit Lions are in final negotiations with quarterback Matthew Stafford to become the No. 1 player taken in this weekend’s draft.

The Lions are in negotiations to finalize a contract with Georgia QB Matthew Stafford, who would be the No. 1 overall draft pick Saturday.

An accord could be reached as soon as Wednesday night.

Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said the team hoped to have a contract completed for the top selection — without naming him — during a pre-draft news conference Tuesday.

Lions officials have been negotiating with Tom Condon and Ben Dogra, who not only represent Stafford but also Baylor OT Jason Smith. Smith is believed to be the Lions’ second option should a deal with Stafford not materialize.

Should Stafford and the Lions agree to terms, the quarterback is expected to initially work behind veteran Daunte Culpepper, who impressed coaches at a recent minicamp. Stafford could receive the opportunity to compete for the starting job, which some NFL coaches and scouts said he could handle following private workouts and interviews.

Nothing is final yet, but if it does happen, this news won’t sit well with some Lions fans. But the bottom line is that Daunte Culpepper and Drew Stanton aren’t the answer. In fact, they’re not even close to being the answer and while Stafford isn’t the best quarterback prospect to come out of the collegiate ranks, there’s no denying that he has a good head on his shoulders and he’s got enough arm strength to make all of the throws at the next level.

Detroit has a ton of holes and GM Martin Mayhew will do his best to fill them as soon as possible. But it’s extremely hard to win in the NFL without a quality quarterback and if Mayhew truly believes that Stafford can lead the Lions for years to come, then it’s a good pick. Granted, that doesn’t mean that he will succeed, but Lion fans must now trust in Mayhew’s scouting and judgment.

4/22 Update: Lions’ beat writer Tom Kowalski is reporting that the Lions have a contract in place for linebacker Aaron Curry, but they’re in wait-and-see mode with Matthew Stafford.

Personally, I think that’s ridiculous. If the Lions aren’t completely sold on Stafford, then why take him? Why invest so much money on the most important position on your roster if you’re not 100% convinced that he can be the guy? This isn’t like deciding between an offensive tackle and a defensive end – you’re deciding on a freaking quarterback.

Is Matt Millen still hanging around Allen Park?

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