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

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