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Is Matthew Stafford being overpaid by Detroit Lions?

When news broke Tuesday of Matthew Stafford's reported three-year contract extension, the Around The League crew immediately wondered if the Detroit Lions overpaid for a quarterback who owns a career 1-23 record versus teams with a winning percentage over .500.

The early word on contract details places Stafford, who signed his contract Wednesday, in the same range as Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, another player widely panned as overpaid.

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Those critiques miss the point. It's impossible to overpay a franchise quarterback in the modern NFL. The species is invaluable.

A list of the NFL's haves and have-nots more easily can be reduced to which teams still have question marks at quarterback. It's no coincidence that six of the eight head coaches hired this season will have either an open competition or a new starter at the position.

No one has better framed that dichotomy than Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff who once said, "Until you find your quarterback, the search for him consumes you."

Think of it this way: Did you look forward to tuning into the annual Thanksgiving Classic when Shaun Hill, Dan Orlovsky or Joey Harrington was under center in Detroit? Stafford not only coaxes league-wide fans to tune in, he keeps the Lions relevant. You can't put a price on that value.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.

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