After briefly contemplating his future, Rams head coach Sean McVay reportedly told the team he would return next season, and he will likely have his veteran quarterback with him.
The Rams are expected to pick up Matthew Stafford’s 2023 option bonus and 2024 salary, according to ESPN. The transaction could happen in March, shortly after the start of the new league year.
The option bonus and 2024 salary will pay the signal-caller a combined $62 million in guaranteed money over the next two years.
The 34-year-old was traded to the Rams before the start of the 2021 season after his long tenure in Detroit. He led the Rams to a Super Bowl title his first season but only played in nine games during the 2022 season due to injury.
He was in the NFL concussion protocol on two separate occasions before ending the year on injured reserve with a spinal cord contusion.
Earlier this week, Stafford said he was “really confident” about his health. “I feel really good about where I’m at,” he said, via The Associated Press.
A few other key pieces of the Rams offense, including left tackle Joe Noteboom and wide receiver Cooper Kupp, also missed significant time this year because of injuries.
Stafford signed a four-year, $160 million extension with the team in March 2022.
The team could moved on from Stafford by designating him as a post-June 1 cut. But the move would have put a significant amount of dead money on the Rams’ salary cap for 2023 and 2024.
The Rams are coming off a 5-12 season, which marked the most losses for a defending Super Bowl champion.
Los Angeles is hoping the 2023 version of Stafford looks more like the 2021 version, when he threw a career-best 41 touchdown passes.