Alex Smith was prepared to pull the plug on contract talks if they ever became a distraction. It never got to that point.
After an intense and largely secretive day of negotiations, the Chiefs and Smith have worked out a four-year, $68 million extension.
Per a league source, Smith gets $30 million guaranteed at signing. Another $15 million in injury-only guarantee vests in March 2015.
Smith, who is still only 30 years old, was traded to the Chiefs last year for what ultimately became two second-round picks. He performed very well in his first season with Kansas City, leading the team to the playoffs and having one of the best days of his career, which has become overlooked via the second-half defensive collapse that blew a 38-10 lead in Indianapolis.
Coupled with his 2014 base salary of $7.5 million, Smith gets $75.5 million over five years, an average of $15.1 million.
The first overall pick in the 2005 draft, Smith was regarded as a borderline bust until Jim Harbaugh arrived as head coach. A very strong 2011 led to an equally impressive 2012. But a concussion gave Colin Kaepernick a chance to play, and he played well enough to send Smith to the bench — and ultimately out the door.
Now, Smith has a contract that is much, much (did I say much?) better than the team-friendly deal that Kaepernick signed earlier this year.