KC Chiefs: Is Alex Smith Worth $126 Million?

By now most of you have heard the rumors and read the report from NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport stating that Alex Smith wants more than the $126.7 million Jay Cutler is making. The question this begs to be asked is then, is Alex Smith worth that much money?

Gary Davenport beat me to the punch and wrote a great piece analyzing the numbers already. It was unknown at the time exactly how much Smith and his agent were requesting. Let’s analyze the 10 highest dollar contracts for QB’s courtesy of overthecap.com.

Name/Team                      Total Value           Annual Salary        

Guaranteed Amount

  1. Aaron Rodgers Packers       $110,000,000        $22,000,000                   $54,000,000
  2. Matt Ryan Falcons               $103,750,000        $20,750,000                   $42,000,000
  3. Joe Flacco Ravens                $120,600,000        $20,100,000                   $29,000,000
  4. Drew Brees Saints                $100,000,000        $20,000,000                  $40,000,000
  5. Peyton Manning Broncos  $96,000,000           $19,200,000                   $18,000,000
  6. Jay Cutler Bears                  $126,700,000         $18,100,000                  $38,000,000
  7. Tony Romo Cowboys          $108,000,000         $18,000,000                   $40,000,000
  8. Matt Stafford Lions             $53,000,000           $17,666,667                   $41,500,000
  9. Eli Manning Giants            $97,500,000           $16,250,000                   $35,000,000
  10. Philip Rivers Chargers      $91,800,000           $15,300,000                    $38,150,000

Now Alex Smith is currently at number 14.

 Total Value        Annual Salary    Guaranteed Amount 

Alex Smith Chiefs                              $27,775,000      $9,258,333           $9,000,000

Smith is clearly being paid like a second tier quarterback when Tom Condon (Smith’s agent) wants him to be paid like a top 5 quarterback. Alex Smith’s statistical comparisons do not match up well. His completion percentage is barely at 60% which is not top 5, his yards per game are not even top 10, and thus the “game manager” label that has been his calling card for much of his career.

In the playoff game against the Colts, Smith turned it up a notch. He completed 30 passes in 46 attempts for 378 passing yards with four touchdowns. Not to mention a quarterback rating of 81.9 (Courtesy of ESPN).

Alex Smith showed that he can put up big numbers in big games, so it’s not an entirely a clear cut case. After pouring over the numbers, it’s difficult to see if his poor stats are a by-product of the offensive system he has been asked to run or if it’s indicative of his physcial/mental limitations as a quarterback.

What cannot be argued is that his game winning percentage is third best in the league (behind only Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers) and his touchdown to interception ratio is top 5 in the league.

At the end of the day, Alex Smith has shown he is capable of winning games better than almost all of the quarterbacks in the league and protects the ball better than most.  Does this warrant him a contract for $18-20 million per year? That is the question the Chiefs front office will have to answer.

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Tags: Alex Smith Kansas City Chiefs

  • Anthony Poole

    When it comes down to it, the only thing that really matters is: who, on that list of 10, would I prefer Alex Smith leading my team. IMO, I would joyfully choose Alex (for varying reasons) over 3,6,7,8 and 9. So at least as I see it, that would put him at #6 in that list.

    • Joel Wagler

      But at this point, KC can’t restrict themselves so much financially by agreeing to such a deal. I don’t know if I would put him 6th in the league (lack of a down field game shortens his field), but he certainly isn’t dog meat, for sure!

      • Anthony Poole

        I agree that the Chiefs can’t afford that kind of contract nor do I think he should receive one that large. I’m not even saying he’s the #6 QB in the league. I just think he’s the 6th best one on that list of highest paid. There are obviously better QB’s than Alex not on that list. Brady, of course, being one of them.

      • Man

        Lack of a down field game? CLEARLY you can NOT think for yourself, let alone do your own research. Go to youtube and watch the video called “Alex Smith – the deep ball myth”. Until you do, STFU.

  • Bill Jones

    Unfortunately he will not be paid that much wether he warrants it or not. That type of money would cripple the rest of the team. He will play out this year get franchised for the following year and then Murray (or maybe someone else) will take over. I trust Reid and QB development. I just wish Smith would prove everyone wrong about his up/down career with the Chiefs. I think Reid would/will make him elite.

  • Leigh Oleszczak

    In my opinion, Smith is a good quarterback,but we need to see how he does in 2014 before we ink anything. He wasn’t very good until a few years ago and I would hate to sign him to a gigantic deal and then him slump back to how he played a few years ago.

    I think the Chiefs drafted Murray for a reason. Sure, he may not be the guy RIGHT NOW, but he might have the potential to be.

    • Man

      He wasn’t very good until a few years ago huh? So, playing on THE WORST team in the NFL and having to learn a new playbook EVERY YEAR for 7 years in a row doesn’t count huh? I wonder how “good” you would be if you had to learn a new job EVERY YEAR……

      Smith has made a career of throwing to losers that lead the league in DROPS, all while taking snaps behind bottom of the barrel pass blockers. In the last 2-3 years, he is number ONE in the NFL on play action passes and in converting pressure into positive plays. #1 in the NFL. When it comes to getting pressure and making something good out of it, he is better than Brady, Manning, Rodgers, Brees, Ben… ALL of them. He is THE BEST QB in the NFL under pressure.

      • Suzi Conger

        well said Man

  • tgaletti

    5 years $16 million

  • tgaletti

    $16 million per season

  • Nick

    In some way this list is lacking though because right now Colin Kaepernick, and Andy Dalton are also looking for Cutler money and Cam Newton and a number of other future free agents will be looking for more and getting more – in two seasons time 18 mil will be close to normal.
    This is the problem when teams over pay for players as Flacco, Romo, and Cutler all were. It sets the market and guys who are better then them and are not offered similar money are insulted

    The Cutler contract is hurting a lot of contracts right now because a lot of QB’s feel they are better then him and don’t want to be paid less.

    • tnafam

      cutler contact is nothing, its only guaranteed for 3 years

      • Nick

        Maybe but it’s been the comparative talking point in all three of current QB negotiations this off season. Dalton, Kaepernick, and Alex are all rumored to be seeking “Cutler money” and all three of their teams are trying to avoid that number.

    • Man

      better than him, not then him.

  • Nick

    I personally believe the dispute is likely over years more then money. It would seem like a more hard pressed argument for both sides. At this point in his career Alex probably doesn’t want to sign for less then 4 years and is likely seeking 5 or 6 with a lot of guaranteed money.
    KC brass probably doesn’t want to guarantee more then two or three years.

    That’s my guess anyway. I think stability and commitment is what Alex is looking for.

    • Jon

      I think you’re right.

    • Man

      Than, not then. Go back to school and learn how to spell.

  • Suzi Conger

    “Although I find this comical (humorous)…you are clearly misinformed. Your ‘source’ is leading you astray” said by Elizabeth Smith May 24th. No one knows what Alex seeks, nor what KC is offering… $$ amounts are gossip rumors started by off-season writers/”reporters”, lol. I agree with Liz, amusing indeed.

    BTW… I agree also with KurtWarner, ASmith is a top 5 QB…Consider that nfl ‘stats’ do not take into account catchable dropped passes, poor separation/route-running, passes under duress/pressure, poor OLine protection/time to execute. Chiefs OLine and Receivers = Grade D (PFF); poor protection/time to execute and excessive catchable dropped passes (rank #1-#4 in nfl for ‘drops’), poor separation/route-running. YET ‘Dr. Smith’, lol, still averaged 36PTS/game 2nd season-half (#1 in nfl), has been the Winning-est QB since inception ’11, lowest intercepted QB since inception of ’10, put up 44 PTS vs colts WITHOUT JCharles!! (too bad our D Died!), has the highest QBR in NFL (even with all the mega-drops) post-season, is a dual-threat (6th rushing QB), accomplished perfect QBR of 158.6, earned his Pro-Bowl team-mates an additional $27K each leading the Winning TD drive, etc. etc. To truly accurately compare QB’s, the OLines and receivers, the ‘supporting cast/pieces’ must be equal… thus PFF grades with those considerations, whereas nfl inaccurately does not

    • John Viril

      Uh Suzi, do you work for Tom Condon? (Alex Smith’s agent). If not, you should

      • Suzi Conger

        lol, I luv it John. Hey, if I was much younger and lookin for a new career, I’d look into it :-) It is true that my profession history includes large negotiations, contracts. and law.

        • John Viril

          Gee, why am I not surprised? I suppose it can’t have anything to do with u structuring a casual argument along IRAC lines—along with bludgeoning the other side with a barrage of facts. Can’t imagine u at a negotiating table.

          • Suzi Conger

            Gee john, you seem confused; should I work for Tom Condon (AS11′s agent), or not?
            ‘bludgeoning’…ooooo derogatory. It seems, that you john, have not had experience negotiating large sums of money, especially on behalf of clients. Facts, stats, accomplishment(s) information is provided to substantiate, or support value.

            PS…. sarcasm is insipid and ignorant :-)

          • John Viril

            That’s me, alright—insipid, ignorant, and constantly confused.

          • Suzi Conger

            Amen… Good luck :-)

  • Roger Mihalko

    why does it have to be this crazy 100+million stuff. give him a 3 year extension at 17 million a year, that’s 51 million total, then you can break that down to fit the cap. that’s a total of 4 years. why would any team invest any longer than that? head coaches and starting qb’s have of late about that much shelf life if they cant win.

    Cutler wont ever finish that contract, and If you think the bears wont find ANY opportunity to get out of that you are mistaken. The bears offense has all the weapons in place, forte, bennett, marshall jefferies,wilson…if cutler shows up this could be a high producint group. They also have two other qb’s on roster that are both 6.5 230+ lbs that could be cheaper replacements,

    it all a bunch of smoke and mirrors…..ask alex, hey here is a god deal, let us use the other money to secure up the defense, and sign some taller faster targets for the outside to help open up your game and really move your offense to the top, he might just take it.

    • Suzi Conger

      well said