Matthew Stafford’s career with the Detroit Lions just got longer.
Stafford and the Lions have agreed to terms on a $53 million, three-year extension to keep him under contract through 2017, according to a person familiar with the deal.
The person, who spoke Tuesday to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the agreement has not been announced, said Stafford will make $41.5 million in guarantees as part of a new contract.
Detroit drafted Stafford No. 1 overall in 2009 and signed him to a six-year contract worth as much as $78 million with $41.7 million in guarantees. After two injury-shortened seasons, he helped the franchise reach the playoffs two years ago for the first time in more than a decade.
A month ago, Stafford vowed that he would focus on football while his agent and the team negotiated.
“I don’t play this game to get contracts,” he said in June. “I play this game to win games.”
The Lions didn’t do much of that last year, losing their last eight games to flop to a 4-12 record after a 10-win season.
Stafford threw more interceptions and had less than half as many touchdown passes in 2012 as he did the previous year.
After playing in just 13 games over two seasons, he flourished in his first full year with 41 TD passes while completing 64 percent of his attempts and throwing 16 touchdowns.
He stayed on the field last season, but his passing percentage dipped as did his TD passes (20) while he threw one more interception.
“Matt’s not happy with last year,” Lions coach Jim Schwartz said during last month’s minicamp. “None of us were happy with last year, but you also can’t overreact.”
Stafford has spent much of this offseason splitting time between his home in suburban Detroit and team headquarters, after working out and rehabilitating injuries elsewhere in previous years.
He has looked back to analyze the previous season, seeing when it was good to take chances with passes and when it wasn’t while the losses piled up after climbing to .500 midway through the season.
“It was a total, learning experience just because it was a tough year,” Stafford said. “You have to find a way to battle through it.”
HERNANDEZ ‘ARGUMENTATIVE’ DURING INVESTIGATION
Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was “argumentative” and slammed the door on police during their first encounter following his friend’s death, according to court records.
He also called his girlfriend’s cellphone and stopped her from speaking with police after they pulled her over and told her the friend, Odin Lloyd, was dead.
Hernandez was later accused of orchestrating Lloyd’s death in an industrial park near Hernandez’s home.
According to an affidavit attached to search warrants unsealed Tuesday, Hernandez approached police after he noticed them parked outside his North Attleboro home on June 17, the day Lloyd’s body was found.
Police said they asked him about an SUV he had rented. Hernandez told them he rented it for Lloyd and had last seen him in Boston the day before, the documents said.
The affidavit then said Hernandez became argumentative, asked “what’s with all the questions?” and locked the door of his house behind him.
He then returned with his attorney’s business card, and didn’t respond when police told him they were investigating a death.
“Mr. Hernandez slammed the door and relocked it behind him,” the records read. “Mr. Hernandez did not ask officers whose death was being investigated. Mr. Hernandez’s demeanor did not indicate any concern for the death of any person.”
Hernandez came out about 10 minutes later and agreed to be questioned at a police station, according to the documents.
Hernandez is being held without bail after pleading not guilty to murder in the killing of Lloyd, whose bullet-ridden body was found in an industrial area near Hernandez’s North Attleborough home.
His attorneys have said the evidence against him is circumstantial and that Hernandez is anxious to clear his name.
Eight search warrants were unsealed Tuesday after news organizations sought access to the records.
The search warrants reveal the breadth of the investigation, with authorities scouring through everything from Hernandez’s house to the contents of his team locker, which the Patriots had emptied into a container.
Among the items police seized were a rifle and ammunition found in Hernandez’s home.
The records also detailed a discussion police had with Hernandez’s girlfriend, Shayanna Jenkins, after she dropped him off at the police station.
Police said they pulled her over and she immediately burst into tears when she heard Lloyd was dead. She later told them she had last seen him two days earlier, according to the documents.
She also said she had been out to a Father’s Day dinner with Hernandez on June 16, but they returned home early and she went to bed. She said Hernandez was away that night and she didn’t know who he was with.
The records said Jenkins then received a call from Hernandez, who told her his agent had advised him to tell her not to speak to police.
The documents also offer some details about June 14, the Friday before the shooting, when prosecutors say Hernandez and Lloyd went to a Boston nightclub, Rumor. Prosecutors say Hernandez orchestrated Lloyd’s shooting because he was upset at him for talking to certain people at the club.
One witness who works in the area near Rumor told police he saw Hernandez entering the club with what appeared to be a handgun, the documents said.
And Lloyd’s girlfriend said Lloyd told her he was out with Hernandez that night and they didn’t come home because they’d gotten drunk and slept elsewhere, according to the records.
Also Tuesday, a man who faces a gun charge in the case agreed to remain in jail until a hearing next month.
Carlos Ortiz, 27, appeared in Attleboro District Court, where a hearing to determine if he is a danger to the community was scheduled for Aug. 14. If Ortiz is determined to be dangerous, he can be held without bail for 90 days.
Ortiz is from Hernandez’s hometown of Bristol, Conn., and authorities say he was with Hernandez when they picked up Lloyd the night he was killed.
Another man who was with Hernandez that night, according to police, pleaded not guilty Monday to an accessory to murder charge in the case. Ernest Wallace, 41, of Miramar, Fla., will be held without bail until another hearing on July 22, under an agreement between his attorney and prosecutors.
FORMER CHEERLEADER SUING WEB SITE
Posts on a gossip website that a former Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader is suing for defamation were so devastating that she once considered suicide and wants to keep other people from being hurt the same way, she testified Tuesday.
Sarah Jones told jurors in her lawsuit retrial in Covington, Ky., that the posts were false and malicious and that the website operator “hurts people every day.”
“He has gained financially off of my downfall,” she said of Nik Richie, operator of thedirty.com website.
Jones is suing Richie and the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based website for damages over two 2009 posts. One alleged she had sex with every Bengals player, and the other said she probably had two sexually transmitted diseases.
The latest trial began Monday after a trial in January resulted in a hung jury.
Jones cried at times Tuesday when saying she had once thought about ways to commit suicide. She also described how hurtful and damaging the posts were to her life.
The posts were unrelated to the former high school teacher’s guilty plea last year to charges she had sex with an underage ex-student, and Jones’ attorney has stressed that they are only seeking damages up to Feb. 1, 2011. He urged jurors not to consider her actions after that.
Jones, 28, still has a relationship with the student, who is now 18. They have said they plan to marry.
After pleading guilty last year in the criminal case, Jones was allowed to avoid jail time but forbidden from teaching again.
Richie’s attorney, David Gingras, questioned her again about lies she acknowledges she told about her relationship with the student. He again asked her about a reality show that she reportedly was considering. Jones denied she has ever considered that.
“It’s not even in the realm of possibility,” she said.
Gingras has said that the case is about Jones’ character and that the lies she has acknowledged about her relationship with the ex-student and her felony conviction are relevant to her credibility.
Jones’ attorney, Eric Deters, called Richie to the stand later Tuesday. The website operator testified that he had no malice toward Jones and that he apologized to her in an email for any pain she had suffered. But Richie also said that he is not required to fact-check submissions before posting them. He acknowledged that he does screen submissions before posting them, but he said the posts are anonymous.
Ritchie said that while he does not believe Jones slept with every Bengal player — an assertion that his attorney suggests was an exaggerated post no one would believe — he can’t say whether the allegation about the sexually transmitted diseases was true or not.
Jones said that while she doesn’t hate Richie, she would like to see his website shut down.
“He is hurting so many people,” she said.
ANOTHER FIRST-ROUNDER SIGNS
The San Francisco 49ers have signed first-round pick Eric Reid to a four-year contract.
With Tuesday’s announcement, San Francisco has all 11 of its draft picks signed. The former LSU safety had actually tweeted a photo from Instagram of him signing a contract last week.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The 49ers drafted Reid 18th overall in April.
In 39 games over three seasons with LSU, the 6-foot-1, 213-pound Reid finished with 199 tackles, six interceptions, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, 11 pass breakups and 4½ tackles for loss. Last season, Reid started all 13 games and tallied 91 tackles, two interceptions, one fumble recovery and seven pass breakups.
The 22-year-old is a native of Baton Rouge, La.
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