Inside the Harrison Smith extension

NFL: AUG 27 Preseason - Vikings at Chiefs
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Vikings safety Harrison Smith has been one of the key pieces of the Minnesota defense for nearly a decade. He recently signed a four-year extension, putting him under contract with the team for five more years.

Here’s a look at the details of the deal, per a source with knowledge of its terms.

1. Signing bonus: $9.579 million.

2. 2021 roster bonus: $3.525 million (earned September 1, paid November 1).

3. 2021 base salary: $1.075 million, fully guaranteed at signing.

4. 2022 roster bonus: $8 million, guaranteed for injury at signing and fully guaranteed on the third day of the 2022 league year.

5. 2022 base salary: $2.95 million, guaranteed for injury at signing and fully guaranteed on the third day of the 2022 league year.

6. 2023 base salary: $14.7 million, $1.25 million of which is guaranteed at signing and becomes fully guaranteed on the third day of the 2023 league year.

7. 2024 base salary: $14.45 million.

8. 2025 base salary: $17 million.

The deal includes $100,000 workout bonuses in 2022 through 2025, along with per-game active roster bonuses of $300,000 in 2021, $500,000 in 2022, $500,000 in 2023, $750,000 in 2024, and $1 million in 2025.

The deal averages $15.3 million in new money for 2022 through 2024. By 2025, the Vikings likely won’t give an $18 million non-guaranteed compensation package to a safety who will be 36 at that time. Nevertheless, the average based on 2022 through 2024 make him the second highest paid safety in league history.

At 32, he’s the only safety among the eight highest-paid safeties in the league who was older than 27 at the time the deal was signed.

As structured, the deal gives Smith two full years of injury protection, plus another $1.25 million in 2023. It also gives the Vikings flexibility to move on from Smith, if healthy, in early 2022 or 2023. If the Vikings rip up the deal after 2021, he will have gotten $14.179 million for one year. Through 2022, he gets $25.129 million.

Bottom line? It’s a great deal for a 32-year-old safety, one that serves only to strengthen Tyrann Mathieu‘s case for a significant new contract in Kansas City, as he enters the final season of his three-year deal from 2019.