Alex Smith avoids team-friendly Chiefs contract


Alex Smith avoided bowing to the pressures of signing a team-friendly contract like other quarterback deals this offseason.

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Smith's new four-year, $68 million contract has $45 million in guarantees, according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport. Coupled with the $7.5 million left on his contract for 2014, that averages around $15.1 million over the next five seasons.

The Kansas City Chiefs liked the deal because it avoided a cap-debilitating Joe Flacco-type contract, while keeping stability at the NFL's most important position.

Smith -- after years of playing the scapegoat -- finally got paid big money. According to Pro Football Talk, Smith got $30 million guaranteed at the signing and gets another $15 million guaranteed in March 2015. That is a boatload of guaranteed cash for a 30-year-old who just made his first Pro Bowl.

During the negotiations, Smith said he didn't want an Andy Dalton-type contract. In the end he didn't settle for that kind of pay-as-you go deal. He got his money upfront.

In truth, that sort of deal never made sense for a 10-year veteran. Dalton has years to bet on himself with a team-friendly deal. Smith didn't.

The quarterback turned into a playmaker in Andy Reid's offense last season and despite a bad offensive line, he looks poised to do the same this season.

Negotiations are about leverage. And Smith had the leverage. The Chiefs have no foolproof option to take over if he walked next season. They also didn't want to be faced with a decision over franchise-tagging Smith or linebacker Justin Houston next year.

Smith didn't get Jay Cutler money, but he didn't settle for a hollow Dalton deal, either.

In the end, Smith won by not blinking.

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