What's taking the Lions so long to extend Matthew Stafford?

Detroit Lions, Stafford yet to agree on contract extension

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DETROIT - Why haven't the Detroit Lions and quarterback Matthew Stafford agreed to a contract extension yet?

The Lions are just days away from beginning training camp and their franchise quarterback is entering the final years of his current contract.

Matthew Stafford's contract extension is a true must for the Lions, as they look to make the playoffs back-to-back years - but alas, no deal has been announced.

Heading into the 2017 regular season without their franchise quarterback locked up could become the biggest storyline of the season.

Stafford's new contract, if it comes, would most likely be the biggest in NFL history.

Here are some theories as to why it's taking so long:

It's actually coming this week

Are we over-reacting as fans? Perhaps. Maybe the deal is done and it's just being ironed out. Maybe it'll be announced today, or Friday - or on Monday before camp starts.

The Lions don't want to keep Stafford

This one is hard to believe, but we'll float it anyway.

The Lions haven't had a franchise quarterback in many, many years. Stafford is the best quarterback in team history and they'd be fools to let him walk away.

Knowing the Lions - they're most likely hoping Stafford never wears another jersey.

Stafford wants to leave

Could the delay be due to Stafford wanting out of Detroit?

It wouldn't be a shocker to any Lions fan that a player could be sick of playing (and losing) here. 

Losing drove Stafford's best target Calvin Johnson to retire after only nine seasons in Detroit. 

Stafford would likely make less money elsewhere, but he could be planning an exit to a team with better Super Bowl odds. Just a theory, though. I don't truly believe this one either.

Stafford is playing the Kirk Cousins game

The Kirk Cousins-Washington Redskins saga is worth watching, considering Cousins could be setting up a model for future quarterback contract negotiations.

Cousins has opted to stay on the team's franchise tag, instead of signing a long-term deal. The consequence of this is that his contract will remain a distraction for the team.

Cousins could potentially make more money on the franchise tag, or by waiting a year and playing the market then.

Stafford could be watching what Cousins is doing and weighting his options moving forward. 

The one deterrent, for Stafford, would be that Matt Ryan is due a contract next year - this would likely keep Stafford from being the highest paid player in the league - but it could raise the market even further.

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