Guaranteed money is so important in NFL contracts because careers can turn on a dime.
Let's take former Giants and Eagles receiver Steve Smith as an example. In 2009, he finished second in the league in receptions. He was on his way to another big season in 2010 when he suffered a devastating knee injury.
Less than two years later, Smith was forced to accept his second straight one-year deal in an effort to keep his career afloat. Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the Rams picked up Smith on Monday.
It's a worthwhile gamble. Smith didn't look like himself in Philadelphia last year following microfracture surgery, but he should be more effective in 2012. His presence makes us wonder if those Danny Amendola trade rumors are true; Smith and Amendola have similar skill sets.
When he's right, Smith is one of the best route runners in football. The Rams figure to add weapons for Sam Bradford in the draft, but this is their first major skill position acquisition of the offseason. It could prove to be a bargain pickup.