49ers would have cut Aldon Smith if he hadn’t taken revised deal

AP

So why did 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith swap out a potentially fully-guaranteed $9.754 million salary in 2015 for a package of non-guaranteed roster bonuses and other payments that total a maximum of $9.754 million?

The simple answer is that’s the best deal he was going to get, anywhere.

Smith’s agent, Doug Hendrickson, told Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com earlier this week that the 49ers didn’t say, ‘”If you don’t do this, you’re cut.'”  The 49ers apparently didn’t need to verbalize their intentions.

Per a league source, the 49ers would have released Smith in lieu of allowing his fifth-year base salary to become fully guaranteed.  According to the source, Smith wasn’t going to get on the open market a contract similar to the revised deal he signed.

It’s not even a true $9.754 million base deal.  Of that amount, $2 million is tied to incentives, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com.  To get the full $9.754 million, Smith must participate in at least half the defensive snaps this year or notch at least eight sacks.

Smith gets $200,000 per month, from April 1 through May 1, if he’s still on the roster.  As of August 1, that number moves to $300,000.  His base salary is $1 million, and he’s eligible for a $500,000 workout bonus.

Smith also gets $322,150 for each game on the 53-man roster, for a total possible per-game roster bonus of $5.154 million.

The total is $7.754 million, with the incentives pushing the deal to $9.754 million.  If the incentives fall under the category of “not likely to be earned,” the deal actually creates $2 million in 2015 cap space for the 49ers.

The fact that the 49ers would have cut Smith but for the revised deal indicates that the team still has concerns about his ability to stay out of trouble and/or in compliance with all league policies over the long haul.  If he manages to do so this year, he’ll get the full $9.754 million — and he’ll set himself up for a long-term deal with the team.

If Smith fails, more and more folks will point out that the 49ers took Smith in 2011 with J.J. Watt still on the board.

41 responses to “49ers would have cut Aldon Smith if he hadn’t taken revised deal

  1. York and Baalke suck but kudos to them for showing Aldon that he’s not bigger than the team. Hope you keep on the straight path, Aldon!

  2. Here’s hoping that Smith grows up a bit, and soon. Many young players lose it with all the glamour. Aside from doing some stupid things (don’t say “bomb” in an air port), he seems like a decent kid. I hope this ends up being a win/win outcome.

  3. Aldon Smith is a better athlete/player than JJ Watt. Watt is much more mature. Aldon Smith keeps his head on straight and he may retire as the All-Time sack champ.

  4. Nobody with any rational thinking ability will point out that the Niners took Aldon Smith when J.J Watt was available. Hindsight is 20/20. They drafter a player who notched 42 sacks in 43 games. That’s a successful draft pick. How were they to know J.J would turn into a once in a generation defensive force?

  5. The article states…

    “If the incentives fall under the category of “not likely to be earned,” the deal actually creates $2 million in 2015 cap space for the 49ers.”

    I’m not sure if such conditions fall into that category. For a pass rusher, 8 sacks may not be likely but also not unlikely.

    Of course if they are categorized as such, and then he does hit them, it would then subtract 2 million from the 2016 cap.

  6. Meanwhile, JJ Watt is the most overrated player in the NFL.

    Make the playoffs and then get back to me on that.

  7. It’s so sad that a talent like Aldon has gone sideways in his career. If he wasn’t a knuckle noggin he would be the best in the industry. Watt owns that now… Just plain sad.

  8. And I would’ve bought a Lamborghini if they hadn’t reduced my apr on this F-150

  9. Hindsight is 20/20. It’s so ridiculous to go back and say this team could have drafted that player instead of this player. Watt has obviously played better than anyone’s wildest expectations of how he would.

  10. A lot of people bad mouthing watt here your all insane. Watt going into that draft they said was the safest player in the entire draft. He is way better then Aldon Smith. Oh btw he’s just a better human being to go with it. Let smith play a full 16 for once in his life and maybe he can shine Watt’s shoes

  11. Yeah, about that “safest pick” deal… they said the same thing when the Seahawks drafted Aaron Curry a few years ago…. busts come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. The talking heads are clueless. The Draft is a crapshoot 100%.

    On those incentives… it’s the ‘50% of the plays’ that will be the easy one. No sane team wouldn’t have Aldon on the field 1/2 the time. (barring injuries and suspensions)

    js

  12. 10 other teams passed on watt too….if watt was the unstoppable defensive force in college like he is now, he wouldve been the number 1 pick hands down!….but the truth in the matter is he wasnt an unstoppable defensive force in college…dont get me wrong he was a really good player with a great motor and did some great things at wisconsin…but coming into the draft aldon smith was seen as the better overall prospect he was much more gifted athletically and had a much higher ceiling than watt…nobody in the world thought watt would turn into what he is today…all the so called draft gurus said the same thing hes a good player with a great motor and is everything you want as a defensive end in a 3-4 defense

  13. I don’t believe anything York and Baalke say. What they DID was abide with Aldon Smith for the last two years and got rid of less talented players.

    I think this press release is all PR adjustment for lack credibility in 49er ownership and management.

  14. Smith should have called their bluff. The free agent market is overflowing with money.

  15. “To get the full $9.754 million, Smith must participate in at least half the defensive snaps this year or notch at least eight sacks.”

    ———————————————————–

    So watch him “show up” for half the snaps, or hit his 8 early……then JAG until he heads East (or the Raiders) for 2016…

  16. Ooooooh dat defense gonna be NASTY!

    Lynch
    Dockett
    Smith
    Smith

    P Willy
    Bow

    Dontae Johnson
    Perrish Cox
    Jimmy Ward (recovered)

    Eric Reid
    Atoine Bethea

  17. It really is ridiculous for this site to claim that Smith wasn’t going to get a better deal on the open market. There is no reason for a ‘source’ to be confidential about this if it is a fact. It’s not a fact, just a narrow opinion.

  18. Of course they didn’t say he would be cut. Cutting him doesn’t make sense, because other teams will pick him up and that other team can be one in their own division or a playoff contender. If they are going to get rid of him. They would trade him instead, and make sure they trade him to a team in another conference so they will not have to face him unless both teams are in the Super Bowl. So, this story, like many, is extremely unlikely to have become reality.

  19. This may be Aldon Smith’s last chance at getting a big payday. If he gets suspended with all these incentives then what team would pay him very much unless it was completely incentive-based. The sad part of this is he has missed a lot of games because he’d rather be a chucklehead.

    As far as Watt goes, he was a good player in college but like someone else said, the draft is a crapshoot. You can look at all these measurables but you can’t predict how much someone will work once he gets to the NFL. Watt has worked hard and deserves the acclaim he has, regardless of what all the Niners fans think. Is Smith good? Absolutely. The problem is his career is over-shadowed by his off-the-field problems. NFL careers don’t last forever and he’s going to regret throwing away all that money. The only think keeping Smith from getting a contract like Watt’s is Smith. If he can somehow figure it out, then he belongs in the conversation with Watt. Right now, comparing him with Watt is ridiculous simply for the fact that Watt doesn’t get suspended every other month.

  20. Overlooked by the trolls on here is this is a great move by
    SF ownership- sending a message and creating cap space at
    the same time. But don’t let that get in the way of your trolling

  21. “If Smith fails, more and more folks will point out that the 49ers took Smith in 2011 with J.J. Watt still on the board.”

    No one has ever said this. Ever.

    You are trolling in the realest way.

  22. Is this the niners way of saving face? No one believes this. They kept McDonald all year until they were out of it and they would have kept aldon regardless of this new deal.

  23. Here’s hoping that Smith grows up a bit, and soon. Many young players lose it with all the glamour. Aside from doing some stupid things (don’t say “bomb” in an air port), he seems like a decent kid.
    —————————————————-

    Ya, (don’t say “bomb” in an airport), and don’t forget, (don’t pass out and crash your truck into a tree at 7:00a.m. drunk on your way to practice), and don’t forget, (don’t charge cover for a house party then fire illegal weapons in the air to convince people to leave), so…don’t forget those other incidents this “decent kid” has done.

  24. Niners will win Super Bowl at Levi’s. Raiders trash again at 4-12 and then move to LA. Oaktown can’t hang vs SF ether football or baseball

  25. @kamthechancellor,

    “I see the delusion is still strong in ninerville. It’s going to take another year of sucking for reality to finally set in.”
    —————————————————————
    Still suffering after losing the Super Bowl? Don’t worry, the pain will get better with time. But it must be just awful. So close, just to come away as a loser and the biggest choke job in the history of the SB.

  26. Aldon got paid, through all the trouble he self inflicted on himself, by the same Ownership last year too.

    One good turn deserves another.

    If Aldon is truly repentant, he’s returned the favor.
    Seems like a good first step toward repairing a selfish, immature, mistake filled Rookie Contract to me.

    Baalke will Draft another youngster with the tools to replace Aldon this year too.
    The key to success in this game is competition.

    Throwing big bucks at questionable characters is a recipe for disaster.

    Good move on both sides of this deal.

  27. What could “potentially fully guaranteed” possibly mean? If it’s “potentially” fully guaranteed, then obviously it’s not fully guaranteed.

  28. Baloney. If the Niners want to cut him, they would have traded him. A 7th round pick would be better than nothing. Trading him for save them the same amount of cap space as a cut.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.