Another acrimonious contract stalemate has come to an end before the start of the NFL's regular season.
The Kansas City Chiefs and quarterback Alex Smith, who had butted heads for months over a new deal, have come to an agreement on a four-year, $68 million contract. The new contract includes $45 million in guaranteed money.
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At an average per year of $17 million, Smith will be paid on the lower end of the top-shelf quarterbacks, between the New York Giants' Eli Manning ($16.25 million average) and the Detroit Lions' Matthew Stafford ($17.67 million).
At first glance and considering the guaranteed money, Smith's deal also appears to be more of a sure-thing deal than the incentive-laden deals signed earlier this offseason by the Cincinnati Bengals' Andy Dalton and the San Francisco 49ers' Colin Kaepernick (Smith's former teammate in San Fran).
Smith was entering the final year of his deal. The Chiefs had the option of franchising Smith, but they also must take care of impending free agent Justin Houston and have a tight salary cap situation. The two sides had exchanged several rounds of negotiations without making much progress, per reports, and the situation could have turned ugly.
Luckily, for the Chiefs, Smith showed up to camp, remained quiet about his contract and hoped for things to work out, which is what happened. He is coming off a career season, with 3,313 passing yards and 23 touchdowns and some impressive play down the stretch as the Chiefs went from winning two games in 2012 to 11 and a playoff berth in 2013.
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