The likelihood of Matthew Stafford staying with the Detroit Lions has gone from high to almost definite.

With the franchise quarterback’s contract expiring after the 2017 season, Lions president Rod Wood upped general manager Bob Quinn’s claim that he is “confident” a deal will get done with Stafford over the summer.

Wood said Tuesday the team wouldn’t have a problem making Stafford the league’s highest-paid player.

“I’m comfortable in getting a deal done with him, and we’ll see where that ends up,” Wood told ESPN’s Michael Rothstein. “It’s going to be whatever it takes, I think, to make it happen from both sides, and whether he becomes the highest-paid or not, it’ll be a short-lived designation because, as (general manager) Bob (Quinn) said, and I think it’s true, if you’re in the top whatever of quarterbacks, when your time comes up, your time comes up and then somebody else’s time comes up, and they become the highest-(paid player).”

Stafford hasn’t quite qualified as an elite NFL quarterback since throwing for 5,038 yards and 41 touchdowns in 2011, but his team feels comfortable paying him as such.

“It’s a premium position, and you need to have a very, very good player at that position to be credible and be competitive,” said Wood. “I think we do have that, and we’re working on getting a deal done.”

Andrew Luck has the highest average annual salary at close to $24.6 million, but with Stafford, Derek Carr, and Matt Ryan all expected to get new deals in the near future, he’ll likely be overtaken.

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