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Marlowe Alter, Detroit Free Press

Matthew Stafford made the rounds with the national media after Tuesday’s practice, meeting with reporters from Toronto and Chicago, and for a few minutes with the NFL Network.

Stafford is the star attraction at an otherwise bland (just the way the Lions like it) training camp, and the topic that comes up with almost every inquiring mind is his contract.

Stafford has made a habit of saying nothing of note about an extension that many across the NFL believe will get done this summer, even if the sides are not particularly close to a deal now, and he repeated his I’m-not-worried-about-it mantra in his live TV interview Tuesday.

“It honestly doesn’t affect me at all,” Stafford said on NFL Network. “I run out here between the white lines and focus on nothing but football. I’m in the meeting rooms doing the same thing, just trying to help this team get as good as we can possibly be.”

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Nine years into his NFL career, there’s little doubt the biggest thing that motivates Stafford is success on the field.

He hasn’t experienced much to this point with only three playoff appearances and no postseason victories and, fair or not, the Lions’ successes and failures fall on his performance as a quarterback.

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford leaves the field after Day 1 of training camp in Allen Park, July 30, 2017. (Photo: Paul Sancya, AP)

But even multimillionaires many times over like Stafford are human, and anyone who has spent an ounce of time around professional sports has seen enough to know that unresolved contract situations can have a significant impact on players, their families and teams.

Stafford might be immune to the pressures of performing in the final year of his deal.

He is, after all, virtually guaranteed to be a Lion in 2018, either under a franchise tag that would pay him $26.4 million or a new long-term contract that would pay him significantly more.


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