The Kansas City Chiefs announced that they have come to an agreement with quarterback Alex Smith on a four year contract extension on Sunday, one week before they open up their regular season with a game against the Tennessee Titans next week at Arrowhead.
The team did not release financial terms of the extension, but various reports say that it is worth $17 million per year for the quarterback with $45 million in guaranteed money ($30 million up front and $15 million in an injury-only guarantee which vests in 2015). The figures put Smith squarely in the same neighborhood of the second-tier NFL quarterbacks that aren’t Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers.
For example, Detroit’s Matt Stafford received nearly $42 million in guarantees in 2013, and Dallas’ Tony Romo got $55 million in guaranteed money around the same time.
“It was a priority of ours to get this deal done and keep Alex in a Chiefs uniform long-term,” Chiefs General Manager John Dorsey said in a statement. “Alex is a proven leader on and off the field. He is a special individual with a lot of ability, and we are fortunate to have him here.”
The deal is also a big vote of confidence for head coach Andy Reid, who was the driving force for trading the team’s last two second-round picks to San Francisco to acquire Smith. Reid and the team obviously are looking at the success Smith had running the offense in the second half of the 2013 season and ultimately in the 45-44 playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts in which Smith set several post-season franchise passing records for Chiefs quarterbacks.
“John and his staff along with Tom and his group have worked hard to get this deal done. They’ve done a nice job,” Reid said on the team web site. “Alex is a smart, talented football player that has adapted well to our offensive scheme. He also, obviously, has had a tremendous amount of success as a quarterback in this league. We as a team are very happy to have Alex as our quarterback moving forward.”
The deal takes the pressure off of the Chiefs to work out a deal for Smith before he would have been eligible to leave after the 2014 season as a free agent, and gives them lots of room to work out a deal with their other most important potential free agent, linebacker Justin Houston.
Now if only the offensive line can protect their quarterback a lot better than they did in the preseason!
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