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The Detroit Lions are in the midst of a renaissance. After decades of seasons that ranged anywhere from utter futility to frustrating finishes, it feels like the franchise has turned a corner. Two seasons ago, they finished with a winning record and knocked their division rival, the Green Bay Packers, out of the playoffs on the final game of the regular season. Last year, they won the NFC North and reached the NFC Championship Game, going up by 17 against the San Francisco 49ers before ultimately losing the game.

A key reason for the team’s success is quarterback Jared Goff, who came over three seasons ago in a trade for Matthew Stafford, a fellow No. 1 pick in a previous NFL Draft. The Lions rewarded him with a franchise-record contract.

Goff signed a four-year, $212 million contract extension to stay with the Lions. The deal includes $170 million in guaranteed money and makes Goff the highest-paid player in franchise history. He’s now the second highest-paid quarterback in terms of average annual salary—his $53 million is just shy of the $55 million Cincinnati Bengals’ Joe Burrow makes annually.

Ryan Kang/Getty Images

Goff isn’t the only player to sign a lucrative extension with the Lions. Detroit also gave wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown a four-year, $120.01 million contract and signed offensive tackle Penei Sewell to a deal worth $112 million over four years. Collectively, the Lions have committed about $444 million to those three players.

The Lions tied a franchise record with 12 wins last season and won multiple playoff games for the first time since 1957. Goff finished the year with 4,575 yards, 30 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. Those were all season bests since his arrival in Detroit; his 67.3 completion percentage was the highest of his entire career. In just three years, Goff is already fifth all-time among Lions quarterbacks in passing yards and touchdowns.

Now, Goff has his sights set on something even bigger: bringing a Super Bowl to a team that’s never won one or even played in the big game. He reached Super Bowl LII with the Rams but came up short. If he can surpass that with the Lions, forget about a lucrative contract—he’ll have statues built and buildings and streets named in his honor.

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