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How does Matthew Stafford signing with the Lions affect the Cincinnati Bengals

And rumors that the Rams could trade Marc Bulger to the Jets...

One would assume that since the Lions signed a quarterback several hours before the NFL Draft, that little effects the Bengals. While that's largely true at face value, there are some things that could affect Cincinnati directly and indirectly.

First, the Lions signed Matthew Stafford to a six-year deal with $41.7 million guaranteed. The deal could max out at $78 million based on incentives that he play in 35% of the team's offensive snaps in 2009 and 45% of the rest of the contract. Oh, and he has to make the Pro Bowl each season.

The fact that the guaranteed money is in the 40-plus million range, the Bengals are likely on tap for more than the $21 million in guaranteed money given to Vernon Gholston, who was the sixth pick in the 2008 NFL Draft.

Also, since Stafford was largely presume to be picked by the Lions in the week heading into the NFL draft, many presumed that the three offensive tackles and Aaron Curry (the Bengals top-four players on the board) would still be available once the St. Louis Rams picked.

Another interesting development is the rumor that the Rams could be looking at drafting Mark Sanchez. Now, we know that rumors leading up to the NFL Draft is primarily to screw with the other 31 teams in the league. However, the New York Jets were rumored to be interested in Marc Bulger. If any trade is worked out sending Bulger to New York, then you have to almost think that the Rams will certainly select Sanchez with their second draft pick. Chris Mortensen also made a point that last year's draft could force the Rams to select a quarterback. This will be the second year in a row in which they hold the second overall draft pick. Do they want to be the team known that let Matt Ryan and Mark Sanchez pass them by? It was just an interesting point. However, the Jets are without a settled quarterback. And that alone could force the Jets General Manager to pull the trigger on a quarterback trade.

Will it be with the Rams? Well, if that happens, Sanchez goes to St. Louis and the Bengals will get one of their four targeted players.