John Matthew Stafford is an American football quarterback who ranks as the fastest National Football League (NFL) player to have reached 40,000 passing yards. After his experience in college football at Georgia, Stafford was drafted in 2009 NFL draft by the Detroit Lions as their first overall pick. He is currently playing for the Los Angeles Rams after signing a recent four-year extension contract with the club worth $160 million. He was placed on injured reserve in December after a spinal injury earlier in 2022.
Matthew Stafford’s Early Life and Background
Born in Tampa, Florida, to parents John and Margaret Stafford, Matthew Stafford spent most of his childhood years in Dallas, Texas. He has an older sister as well. It was while being coached by Randy Allen at the Highland Park High School that he was shaped into becoming one of the best quarterbacks in America. He had led his school team to a 15-0 record win in the UIL 4A Division I State Champions. He also won the MVP and Best Arm awards at the 2005 EA Sports Elite 11 Quarterback Camp and was named the 2005 EA Sports National Player of the Year.
Stafford began his college career as a quarterback while being enrolled at the University of Georgia in January, 2006. He became the first true freshman quarterback to start for the Georgia Bulldogs football team since Quincy Carter in 1998. During the three seasons that Stafford played for the Bulldogs won several matches which includes the 2006 Chick-fil-A Bowl, 2008 Sugar Bowl and the 2009 Capital One Bowl. Even on a bad day for the team, when they lost against rivals Georgia Tech, Stafford completed 24 of 39 passes for 407 yards and 5 passing touchdowns in a shootout.
Who Drafted Matthew Stafford?
Matthew Stafford was drafted by the Detroit Lions as the first pick of the season in the NFL 2009 draft. He signed a 6-year contract with the club having a net worth of $78 million dollars. Some other players who went on to become NFL stars drafted along with Stafford in 2009 include quarterback Mark Sanchez (drafted by the New York Jets), offensive tackle Jason Smith (drafted by the St. Louis Rams) and defensive lineman Tyson Jackson (drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs). After spending a total of 11 seasons with the Lions, Stafford was traded to the Los Angeles Rams in a package involving Jared Goff in 2021.
Matthew Stafford’s NFL Journey
After being drafted by the Detroit Lions as the first pick of the 2009 NFL draft, Stafford was the first Lions rookie quarterback to start in Week 1 since Greg Landry in 1968. He lived up to his reputation acquired over his school and college years when in the second game of the season itself, against the Minnesota Vikings, which the Lions lost, he threw his first career touchdown pass on an eight-yard completion to Calvin Johnson. He recorded his first NFL victory against the Washington Redskins in the following game. He went on to break several other records in his first season when he became the youngest quarterback ever to throw five touchdowns in a winning match against the Cleveland Browns. In addition to the five touchdown passes, Stafford accumulated 422 yards passing, a record for a rookie at that time. For his performance, Stafford won NFC Offensive Player of the Week and Pepsi Rookie of the Week. In his 5th season with the Lions, Stafford signed a three-year extension with the club worth $53 million. This was followed by another five-year contract signed by Stafford in August, 2017 worth $135 million, with $92 million guaranteed, making him the highest-paid player in NFL history at the time.
On March 18, 2021, Stafford was traded to the Los Angeles Rams in a package that involved the quarterback Jared Goff, who had been a 2021 third-round pick. He signed a new four-year, $160 million deal in March 2022, with a $60 million signing bonus. It was during his first season with the club that Stafford played in the NFC Championship for the first time in his career. The Rams victory against the San Francisco 49ers by a score of 20–17 qualified them for the Super Bowl VI. In the next season in 2022, Stafford suffered a spinal cord injury in a match against the Seattle Seahawks, which the Rams lost, for which he was placed on injured reserve in the beginning of December.
Matthew Stafford’s Teams
Detroit Lions (2009-2021)
Matthew Stafford lived up to the hype around his name in the 2009 NFL draft by the Lions as he went on to set a slew of records for the Lions organization during his time with the club. He is the Lions' all-time leader in passing yards (45,109), passing touchdowns (282), attempts (6,224) and completions (3,898). He also leads the franchise in QB wins (74), fourth-quarter comebacks (31) and game-winning drives (38). In addition, Stafford is the Lions' all-time leader in interceptions thrown (144) and sacks taken (385). He holds eight of the top 10 passing yardage seasons and seven of the top 10 passing TD seasons in Lions history. Stafford is responsible for guiding Detroit to half (two of four) of its 10-plus win seasons, and in 2015, he became the first Lions QB to complete 60-plus percent of his passes for every game in a season. He is also the only Lions QB with more than five game-winning drives and fourth-quarter comebacks in a single season. Stafford was placed on injured reserve in the 2019 season with the Lions due to major fractures that he suffered in the season. However, he had already accomplished 2,499 yards, 19 touchdowns, and five interceptions in eight games before being put on reserve in that season.
Los Angeles Rams (2021-present)
Stafford’s debut with the Rams was as promising as the start of his career with the Lions. He played Saturday Night Football against the Chicago Bears in his first match with the Rams, which the club won 34-14, during which he threw for 321 yards and three touchdowns with a career-best 156.1 passer rating. It was for his outstanding skills that he earned the NFC Offensive Player of the Week award for the first time since his debut season with the Lions. In the next match of the season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers he again earned the honor after throwing for 343 yards and 4 touchdowns. He played the NFC Championship for the first time in his career while being part of the club. After taking his club towards victory against the San Francisco 49ers, Stafford and the Rams qualified for the Super Bowl VI, which was his first Super Bowl match. He completed 31 out of 45 passes for 337 yards along with two touchdowns and an interception at their home stadium leading the team to victory against the Cincinnati Bengals. He completed 31 out of 45 passes for 337 yards with two passing touchdowns and an interception in the game.
Matthew Stafford Super Bowl Wins
The veteran quarterback played his first Super Bowl in 2022 when the Los Angeles Rams faced the Cincinnati Bengals at the SoFi Stadium. Matthew Stafford led the Rams to their second ever Super Bowl win in a closely contested match (23-20) against the Bengals. He managed a passer rating of 89.6 throwing 3 crucial touchdown passes in the game.
Most passing completions in a single season – 435 (2012)
Most career pass attempts – 6,224 (2009–2020)
Most passing attempts in a single season – 727 (2012)
Most career interceptions – 144
Most passing attempts in a game – 63 (November 13, 2011, against the Chicago Bears)
Highest career completion percentage – 62.6% (2009–2020)
Highest completion percentage in a single season – 67.2% (2015(tied with Jared Goff (2021))
Highest completion percentage in a game – 88.0% (December 21, 2015, vs. New Orleans Saints)
Most career passing yards – 45,109 (2009–2020)
Most passing yards in a single season – 5,038 (2011)
Most passing yards in a game – 520 (January 1, 2012, vs. Green Bay Packers)
Most career 4,000 passing yard seasons – 8
Most consecutive seasons with 4,000 passing yards – 7 (2011–2017)
Most career games with 400+ passing yards – 10 (2009–2020)
Most career games with 300+ passing yards – 49 (2009–2020)
Most games with 300+ passing yards in a single season – 8 (2011 and 2012)
Most passing touchdowns in a single season – 41 (2011)
Most passing touchdowns in a game – 5 (tied with Gary Danielson)
Most career passing touchdowns – 282 (2009–2020)
Most games in a season with at least one passing touchdown – 16 (2011)
Lowest career interception percentage – 2.3% (2009–2020)
Most career yards per game – 273.4 (2009–2020)
Most yards per game in a single season – 314.9 (2011)
Highest career passer rating – 89.9 (2009–2020)
Highest passer rating in a single season – 106.0 (2017)
Most career fourth quarter comeback wins – 31
Most fourth-quarter comeback wins in a single season – 8 (2016) (NFL record)
Most career game-winning drives – 38
Most game-winning drives in a single season – 8 (2016) (NFL record)
Most consecutive completed pass attempts in a game – 14 (December 4, 2016, vs. New Orleans Saints)
Most yards per pass attempts, career (minimum 1,500 attempts) 7.2 (tied with Bobby Layne)
Most wins as a starting quarterback, career: 74
Most losses as a starting quarterback, career: 90
Most wins as a starting quarterback, single-season: 11 (2014) (tied with Milt Plum)
Los Angeles Rams franchise records
Most touchdown passes in a single season – 41 (2021) (tied with Kurt Warner)
Most passing yards in a single season – 4,886 (2021)
Most pass completions in a single season – 404 (2021)
Matthew Stafford Net Worth
Matthew Stafford’s present net-worth is estimated to be around $85 million. He has signed multiple contracts with his first club, the Detroit Lions, of which his 2017 5-year contract worth $135 million, with $92 million guaranteed, made him the highest-paid player in NFL history at the time. His transfer from the Lions to the Rams went for a whopping $160 million, which has gained some widespread media attention. Matthew also earns a sum of around $5 million from his brand endorsement and commercials.
Matthew Stafford is currently signed to a 4 year contract with the Los Angeles Rams worth $160 million. He earns around $40 million annually from the contract. He received a signing bonus of $60 million upon signing the contract and the total guaranteed amount of the contract is $130 million.
Stafford's parents are John and Margaret Stafford and he has a sister named Page. Stafford was born in Tampa, Florida and the family moved to Dallas, Texas when he was in high school. His parents were always supportive of his journey as a football player and helped him get to where he is today.
His father, John, was an athlete as well, but he was involved in swimming rather than football. He swam at Florida State University and went on to become the graduate assistant coach at the University of Georgia and then head coach at Bolles and later Florida State. He clearly passed on some of his athletic skills to Stafford, though he took a different route, and by the time he was in high school in 2006, he was considered to be one of the best quarterbacks in the U.S.
There is little information available on his mother Margaret Stafford. However, she had been extremely supportive of his career throughout his life.
Stafford met his wife Kelly Stafford who is the sister of Buffalo Bills wide receiver coach, Chandler Hall. They have been dating since college where she was a cheerleader during his time as a quarterback for the University of Georgia. She is known for hosting a podcast known as The Morning After. She has been extremely supportive of Stafford throughout his NFL career. He reciprocated the support especially when she underwent a surgery for the removal of a brain tumor in 2019. He supported her throughout her recovery and even took some time off from the Detroit Lions for the same purpose. The couple have four daughters together.
Stafford and Kelly now have four daughters, twins Chandler and Sawyer, Hunter Hope, and Tyler Hall. Sawyer and Chandler will be five years old in March, Hunter is three, and Tyler will turn two in June. Stafford said he enjoys being a “girl dad” and has learned a lot of patience being a father of four. Though Stafford does not have social media, Kelly often shares photos of the family to her Instagram account.
Matthew Stafford Diet
As a veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford takes strict care of his diet to keep competing at the highest levels. The Super Bowl LVI winner consumes a lot of vegetables with spinach being one of his most favorite vegetables to incorporate into his diet. He also has a lot of asparagus, broccoli, peppers and onions. He has switched packaged snacks for healthy snacks like bite sized apple chips and veggie straws. Matthew Stafford does indulge from time to time and has steak once in a while apart from his daily lean protein intake. Stafford incorporates swimming, yoga, and walking his dogs into his fitness routine too.
Matthew Stafford House
Matthew Stafford currently lives in Los Angeles, California. He used to own a lakefront property in Bloomfield, Michigan in 2021 for around $6 million.
Stafford currently lives in a sprawling 15000 square feet mansion in the Hidden Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles. He purchased his Hidden Hills mansion for a whopping $19.6 million. Stafford’s fascination with houses does not end there, as the 2022 Super Bowl winner also purchased two smaller residences next to his Hidden Hills mansion, which he purchased from RnB star, Drake.
Popularly Asked Questions
1. How long has Matthew Stafford been in the NFL?
Matthew Stafford was drafted by the Detroit Lions in 2009 as Pick 1 of the 1st Round in the draft. He has been playing in the NFL for 14 seasons now.
2. Is Matthew Stafford married?
Yes. Matthew Stafford is married to Kelly Hall. She and Stafford had been together since college and have four children together.
3. How long did Matt Stafford play for the Detroit Lions?
Matthew Stafford was drafted by the Lions in 2009 and was an important part of their squad till the 2021 NFL season. He spent a total of 12 years with the franchise.
4. How many Championship Rings does Matthew Stafford have?
Matthew Stafford has one Championship ring to his name. He won his first Super Bowl Championship ring by winning Super Bowl LVI with the Los Angeles Rams.
5. How tall is Matt Stafford?
Matthew Stafford is 6 feet and 3 inches in height (1.91 meter).