The Detroit Lions currently have their best chance at success that they've had in years, and they have no plans on letting him go any time soon. Detroit gave quarterback Matthew Stafford a five-year contract extension worth $135 million on Monday night, making him the highest-paid player in the NFL. The $27 million annual salary for Stafford beats out Derek Carr of the Oakland Raiders, who is making $25 million per year. The contract includes $65 million guaranteed at signing, and $86 million by year 2 of the deal. It will hold a total of $92 million in guaranteed money, which he will have by the third year of the contract. The 29-year-old has led the Lions to three postseason appearances, but still has not won a playoff game. He does lead the Lions in just about every passing category in franchise history since being drafted No. 1 out of Georgia in 2009. He has remained healthy since an injury-riddled rookie season, as the QB has started every game since the start of the 2011 season. In 109 games in the Honolulu Blue he has compiled a record of 51-58 and made one Pro Bowl appearance in 2014. This new contract does put the pressure on Stafford to win soon, as he and his team looks to reach the playoffs for a second straight season.
Orioles, Indians Win Fifth Straight
Two teams kept their winning streaks alive on the diamond Monday night, both with big expectations when it comes to October. First, the Cleveland Indians supported ace Corey Kluber in the Bronx for a 6-2 win over the New York Yankees. Kluber out-dueled Luis Severino, while Jose Ramirez homered twice to lead The Tribe to their fifth straight win. Carlos Santana's long ball was the difference in the seventh inning, while Austin Jackson also went deep for Cleveland, who now lead the Minnesota Twins by seven games in the AL Central. Kluber lasted eight innings and allowed both runs on three hits to rebound from his first loss since July 4th last week. The Indians have now won for the 14th time in the past 18 games to move a season-best 18 games over .500. Meanwhile, the Baltimore Orioles are staying relevant in the AL Wild Card hunt, as they edged the Seattle Mariners, 7-6, on Monday for their fifth straight win. Adam Jones had the big night with his 25th home run, making it now seven straight years with at least 25 long balls. That number passes Cal Ripken Jr. for most in franchise history. Wellington Castillo also chipped in with three hits and two RBI, while Chris Davis had the game-winning hit by doubling home a run in the seventh. The win puts them over .500 for the first time since June 11th, as they now sit 1.5 games back in the Wild Card hunt. The Mariners dropped back to .500 and below the O's in the standings, as they are now two games out of a playoff spot.
Scherzer, Werth Return to Lead Nationals
Max Scherzer made his return to the mound on Monday for the first time since going on the disabled list due to neck inflammation, and it's like he never went away. Scherzer struck out 10 and allowed a run on five hits in his first start since August 13th, as the Nationals blew past the Miami Marlins, 11-2. The right-hander overpowered the hottest hitter in baseball in Giancarlo Stanton by striking him out twice, as the former Cy Young winner won his 13th game. Meanwhile, Jayson Werth also returned from the disabled list and homered in his first game since June 5th. The outfielder had been sitting out due to a foot injury. Howie Kendrick also sparked the Nats with a three-run double, while Matt Wieters singled home two against the Marlins, whose four-game winning streak came to an end. Scherzer was a big reason for that, as he struck out at least 10 for the 14th time this season. Christian Yelich was the only one to figure out the Nats' ace, as his homer provided the only run against the starter. The Nationals look to spoil the Marlins' slim playoff hopes, as the series continues on Tuesday night.