Dominic Raiola has snapped the football to a lot of Lions quarterbacks over the past 12 years, but none of them have been a franchise-caliber quarterback like Matthew Stafford.
“This guy came in and was a Day 1 starter for us,” Raiola told Sirius NFL Radio Wednesday, after Stafford signed a three-year, $53 million extension.
“He took that and ran with it and took us to the playoffs (in 2011). He’s progressed well and really taken leadership of this team. That’s what franchise quarterbacks do.”
Stafford is now signed through 2017 with total compensation worth $76.5 million after the extension. It’s uncertain how many more years Raiola will be snapping the ball to him, considering he’s 34 years old and entering his 13th season. But Raiola knows his best chance at seeing a second winning season in his career is with No. 9 leading the way.
“I have a little closer bond with him and it’s well deserving,” Raiola said. “I’ve always said from the beginning that this guy was going to be the guy. It’s Stafford or bust for everyone (in Allen Park).
“He’s been the guy and what I saw this offseason is good stuff from him, so I’m happy for him.
“I texted him last night to congratulate him and his text back to me was, ‘Thanks, man, now lets go win.’ I think that says it all.”
Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 36 Comments »