After the wife of former Utah Utes and current Kansas City Chiefs star Alex Smith got involved, nobody was certain a deal would even happen. She opened her big mouth on Twitter about her hubby Alex getting the cold shoulder from the Chiefs. Before that, Smith was tossed around like a rag doll with the San Francisco 49ers, punched so many times in his ear hole he could hardly remember his name.
In Kansas City, Smith's new home, the former Ute has thrived though and avoided injury. He helped guide the Chiefs to the playoffs in his first year there as the starting quarterback. Smith was set to receive $7.5 million this year--even if a deal couldn't have been made, according to the Kansas City Star.
On Sun. Aug. 31, a deal indeed had been made with Smith and his agent Tom Condon, totaling $68 million over four years--$30 million this year alone. The four-year deal will be worth $17 million per season, and includes $45 million in guaranteed money. In terms of NFL Contracts, it's a good--but not great--deal.
For any NFL deal to encompass two-thirds in guaranteed dollars though--especially considering the average life span of any NFL player is four years--that's a good deal for Smith. The Chiefs also believe it's one that fits within both their short and long term plans for the former Utah star and No. 1 draft pick.
“I’ve always said all along, the one thing that Andy (Reid) and I have and I think it’s one of our strengths, is the ability to communicate,” Chiefs GM John Dorsey said. “We’re like-minded in how we see players. When we sit and talk about these types of things, there’s a natural fit. That was an early-on decision we made as an organization and then we had to get the trigger pulled and we got it pulled.”
Even if Smith has to leave the NFL, God forbid, for similar reasons related to the concussions he suffered during his playing days in San Francisco, closing on a deal worth $45 million in guaranteed money is a huge win for both he and his family.
While his wife didn't exactly endear herself or Smith's situation to the world with her musings on Twitter about her hubby's holdout, it all ended well for everyone involved. Smith isn't the first high-profile athlete to to a public beating for the way he handled his contract negotiations--and he won't be the last one, either.
In the end, everyone got what they wanted. The Chiefs got a franchise QB for the future locked in through the 2018 season. Chiefs head coach Andy Reid got the guy who helped lead them to a playoff berth after years of futility.
And, Smith finally has a home that he can call his own in KC, after years of not knowing if he was, or when he would be, the guy for the 49ers in the city by the bay. Like every contract though, there are some catches to it in the fine print.
Smith himself said he's happy with the outcome, and added that it's something he wanted to put behind him going into the upcoming 2014-15 season.
“It was about something fair both ways,” Smith said. “As a quarterback, you certainly don’t want to hamstring your team in any way because – I know this more than anyone – you rely so heavily on those playmakers around you. You certainly don’t want to do anything like that, but at the same time, you do want something that’s fair.”