May 28, 2014; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) passes the football during organized team activities at the SAP Performance Facility. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Is Colin Kaepernick Better Than Matthew Stafford?

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San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford are two very different players.

They hail from different parts of the country, Kaepernick from California, Stafford from Texas. They also have very different playing styles, Kaepernick is a mobile QB and master of the read-option while Stafford is of the true gun-slinger mentality.

As of Wednesday however there is one thing that two signal callers do have in common, their big-money contracts. Per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the San Francisco 49ers signed Colin Kaepernick to a six-year extension worth $126 million with $60 million guaranteed.


Both young QB’s, 26, are now among the NFL’s 10 highest-paid quarterbacks in terms of average salary.

(courtesy of

1. Aaron Rodgers, Packers

$110 million over five years ($22 million average), with $54 million guaranteed

2. Colin Kaepernick, 49ers

$126 million over six years ($21 million average), with $61 million guaranteed

3. Matt Ryan, Falcons

$103.75 million over five years ($20.75 million average), with $42 million guaranteed

4. Joe Flacco, Ravens

$120.6 million over six years ($20.1 million average), with $29 million guaranteed

5. Drew Brees, Saints

$100 million over five years ($20 million average), with $40 million guaranteed

6. Peyton Manning, Broncos

$96 million over five years ($19.2 million average), with $58 million guaranteed

7. Jay Cutler, Bears

$126.7 million over seven years ($18.1 million average), with $54 million guaranteed

8. Tony Romo, Cowboys

$108 million over six years ($18 million average), with $40 million guaranteed

9. Matthew Stafford, Lions

$53 million over three years ($17.67 million average), with $41.5 million guaranteed

10. Eli Manning, Giants

$97.5 million over six years ($16.25 million average), with $35 million guaranteed

Both quarterbacks also had good intentions when extending their respective deals, each vowing that they wanted to clear cap space to help the team resign their teammates and bring in other talent to help the clubs win.

“I wanted to do what was right for the club.”-Matthew Stafford

Kaepernick was due just $973,766 in base salary, plus a $100,000 workout bonus in the last year of his rookie contract in 2014. The 49ers surely didn’t want to play the franchise tag game in 2015 and beyond, with the non-exclusive tender for QBs this year reaching nearly $17 million, so they got in front of the situation and bet on Kaepernick.

“So this structure gives us room to try extensions with my teammates, right?”-Colin Kaepernick

In Kaepernick’s short time as the starter since taking over for Alex Smith midway through the 2012 season, he’s had a great deal of success. Kaepernick lead the 49ers to their first Superbowl in 18 years where they fell just three points short to the Baltimore Ravens in 2012. In 2013, Kaepernick lead the 49ers back to the NFC Championship game where they fell three points short once again to division rivals, the Seattle Seahawks.

Matthew Stafford was drafted by the Detroit Lions in 2009 and after two injury-shortened seasons, Stafford helped lead the Lions to their first post-season appearance in over a decade. He also threw for 41 touchdowns and 5,038 passing yards along the way that year.

However, the Lions have struggled since that breakthrough year in 2011, finishing 4-12 in 2012 and collapsing late last year when the division was theirs for the taking. To top it off, many point to Matthew Stafford’s regression as a significant culprit for the Lions’ woes last fall.

Colin Kaepernick and Matthew Stafford both have a lot of football left to play, and frankly, both still have a lot to learn. Both are surrounded by talent and both have the full backing of their respective organizations. With expectations high in both the Bay Area and the Motor City, 2014 could be a telling season as far as which club got more “bang for their buck”.

Which QB would you put your money on?

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Tags: Colin Kaepernick Detroit Lions Matthew Stafford

  • Tony Fischer

    Micheal if yards are all you are looking for from a QB then I guess you are right. But Kaep has led the 49ers to the Superbowl without gaudy numbers.

    Wouldn’t any Lions fan trade places with the 49er’s?

    Would they rather have Kaep over Matt?

    You also touted the virtues of the 49er’s WR corps. Would they be as good with Stafford throwing them the ball or does Kaep make them better?

    Both the 49er’s and Lions have spent high draft picks on the WRs. Is the difference talent or the guy throwing them the ball?

    Considering Stafford’s salary compared to his inability to lead the Lions to the Superbowl (much less a playoff win), it is fair to ask whether or not Stafford is worth the investment.

    It is also fair to ask which a team should value more; production in the win column or production on the stat sheet.

  • Michael Stenger

    Sure, Kap aided the 9ers to a Super Bowl. The defense and run attack make him look much better than he is, similar to how the Seahawks D and Lynch make Wilson look. The numbers don’t lie; ranking 30th in the league in passing means either your receiving core or QB is lackluster….

    Btw, losing the big game is still a loss. Whether you win 16 or 8, losing the one big game still takes the cake

  • Tony Fischer

    So by your logic big yardage numbers out weigh playoff production. I think some fans would disagree.

  • Michael Stenger

    And by your logic, a QB who rides the coattails of the RB and defense is great and deserving of an unearned contract. Every QB on that list, including Romo, is better than Kap.

  • Tony Fischer

    This is why we ask the questions. Good debates follow.