Clearing the air on the Alex Smith deal

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As usual, all sorts of erroneously inflated numbers circulate in the media after a player signs a contract.  Then, by the time the real numbers are available, everybody has moved on to the next batch of erroneously inflated numbers.

In the case of 49ers quarterback Alex Smith, some reports have pegged the deal as carrying $16.5 million in guaranteed money, and a maximum value of $33 million.

Unfortunately for Smith, it doesn’t.

Per a source with direct knowledge of the real numbers, here’s what Smith will receive:

1.  No signing bonus.

2.  $5 million base salary in 2012, fully guaranteed.

3.  $3 million non-guaranteed roster bonus in 2012.

4.  $7.5 million base salary in 2013, fully guaranteed.

5.  $1 million non-guaranteed roster bonus in 2013.

6.  $7.5 million non-guaranteed base salary in 2014.

7.  Incentives worth up to $1.25 million annually.

So that’s $12.5 million in fully guaranteed money.  The $16.5 million figure likely comes from the assumption that the roster bonuses will be paid in 2012 and 2013.  But that doesn’t make them guaranteed.

The total $3.75 million in incentives pushes the maximum value to $27.75 million.  (It’s possible, we suppose, that another $5.25 million in escalators can be triggered during the first two years of the deal, which would push the total to $33 million.)

If Smith finishes out the contract, the first overall pick in the 2005 draft will have spent 10 years with the team that drafted him.

UPDATE 4:25 p.m. ET March 23:  A separate source tells PFT that the 2012 roster bonus is due on March 26, making it as a practical matter guaranteed.  Also, a total of $9 million is indeed available via escalators and incentives.  The specific triggers aren’t known; some could be unrealistic.

27 responses to “Clearing the air on the Alex Smith deal

  1. I know he’s not the quarterback that they thought he would be when they drafted him, but he has been pretty serviceable. Way better than the last #1 of the Bay area.

  2. Hairbow lied to Smith. He threw him under the bus because of his man crush for the Swamp Boy. He’s lucky he has Smith or he might have to QB the 49ers himself.

    All Hairbow slappies can give me a thumbs down even though you know the above is true.

  3. From what I’ve read ,, those numbers seem incorrect:

    Alex Smith’s $7.5 million base salary in 2013 is only guaranteed if he remains on the roster by April 1 of next year.

    Smith received no signing bonus. Only $1 million of his 2013 salary is guaranteed.

    The rest of the full guarantees are in the form of a $5 million salary and a $3 million roster bonus this year.

    The 49ers can easily cut the cord on Smith if they’re confident in Colin Kaepernick next winter.

    Source: Matt Maiocco on Twitter

  4. So Smith has 2 x yrs of base salary “fully” guaranteed at $12.5 million + an unguaranteed roster bonus of $3m due this year — which Smith will surely earn unless he puts a bounty on Trent Baalke or Paraag Marathe — for a total of $15.5m ‘essentially’ guaranteed + another $1m due in 2013 if he has a pulse?

    If that’s not $16.5 “essentially” guaranteed then you’re essentially nitpicking.

  5. It’s incredible how so many people get wrapped up in the 1’s and 0’s of players contracts… especially with regards to guaranteed money, signing bonuses, base salary, etc.

    Seriously… think about it a minute: does it really matter if the guaranteed money is 16.5 or 12.5 million?

    It’ll take the average fan roughly 22 years to earn 1 million dollars in salary (obviously not including inflation or pay raises)… yet for some reason, we find it necessary to nitpick over whether or not someone will earn a guaranteed 363 years average salary or a guaranteed 275 years average salary… over the course of three years.

  6. This is the equivalent to buying a girl you “date” just enough dinners to keep her “talking” to you, but you’re never gonna buy her an engagement ring. Can’t blame a girl for looking for commitment..

  7. Seriously mjkelly77?

    You do realize Smith’s deal was on the table for the last 3 weeks, right? That deal was never rescinded during the Peyton saga. Smith didn’t sign the contract until a couple days ago.

    Does that timeline help you out? Smith could’ve prevented the Peyton drama by signing day one. Smith opened the door for “being thrown under the bus” by not signing.

    All the Hairbow slappies give me a thumbs up if you understand how business works.

  8. 49ers got a break here. This deal is basically a one year “show us you can improve on last years success or we going with the kid on the bench” type contract

  9. Josh Johnson just signed with the niners a 2 year contract.. a bit crowded back there isnt it? i really are just piling up to see if they can find “their!” manning this year.. lol.

  10. Why the Hell woiuld we sign this bum again and give him a contrect like this this guy is not even worth it the guy cant even throw a ball with in 5 yards

  11. Actually, I suspect Johnson’s signing signals competition for #2. The 9ers didn’t sweeten Smith’s deal because they were “innocent” in Manningate or thought Kaepernick was anywhere close to starter-ready.

    If anything, I think Johnson puts Kap on notice. Johnson’s pro career to date is distinctly sub-mediocre, as in decisively less accomplished than the pre-Harbaugh Smith. Does Harbaugh believe he can salvage Johnson into starter material? Only Harbaugh can answer that. The rest of us will have to wait.

    Meanwhile, the 9ers aren’t gambling on 16 x more games of perfect health from Smith. Johnson gives the team another option/opportunity btw Johnson, Tolzien & Kap to “upgrade” the understudy position.

  12. Mjkelly77 what the hell is “Hairbow” ? we understand you are a bitter little baby about something but do you seriously lack the creativity to think of a name that doesn’t make you look retarded?

  13. Why the Hell would we sign this bum Smith again and give him a contract like that this guy is not even worth it? the guy cant even throw a ball with in 5 yards

  14. It just Alex we don’t care he just needs to Play well with those weapons he has now.

    Umm. Let’s not go getting too excited about Moss and Manningham. Wouldn’t put them into any more the “weapons” category than Crabtree or Ginn. Not much of an upgrade, if any.

  15. Bottom line: Alex for two more chances at getting Niners to the Super Bowl. At this point he can get a wart on his pinky and still get $12.5M flowing into his bank account. And, Niners would still be in good shape with CK7 and JJ and ST stepping up behind him.

  16. ^^^^^^^^^^^
    mjkelly77 says:
    Mar 22, 2012 10:12 PM
    Hairbow lied to Smith. He threw him under the bus because of his man crush for the Swamp Boy. He’s lucky he has Smith or he might have to QB the 49ers himself.

    All Hairbow slappies can give me a thumbs down even though you know the above is true.


    I did make sure to give you a thumbs down because the above is just name calling-not even skillful name calling, just ghey childish name calling and your goofy take on what happened skewed of course by your goofy obsession of Harbaugh. Does he even know you exist? Chew on that jellyboy.

  17. There is a lot of venom on here in regards to Alex. While I understand, but do not share, your displeasure isn’t it going a little far to spew hate for him personally? In every comment section there are at least a few people that attack this guy as a person. What has he ever done as a human being to deserve that?

    As for his underperformance, I won’t go through this dudes resume and nitpick. It’s a waste of all our times… Bottom line is.. What have you done for me lately? That’s what the NFL is about nowadays. Call him a game manager if you want, but the 9ers had success so I’m willing to re-up him and see if he can improve.

    As for this D-Bag “Hairbow” guy above… Get real and stop hating. Go comment on something else. You add nothing to the conversation here.

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