Tyron Smith's deal could pay out $20 million, but it will take a lot to get there

Tyron Smith is leaving the Cowboys after 13 seasons. In his fourteenth year, he could make solid money — up to, we're told, $20 million.

But he'll need to check a lot of boxes to get there.

Per a league source, Smith is guaranteed only $6.5 million in his one-year deal with the Jets. He'll have to be available to play, and he'll need to play a lot, to unlock the bulk of his available compensation. He'll need to participate in at least 90 percent of the offensive snaps for the season to have a shot at the maximum package, for example.

He hasn't done that since at least 2015; that's the last year he missed fewer than three full games.

The inventive-heavy contract is one of the reasons why the Jets were surprised he took the offer. As the first week of free agency was ending, there apparently wasn't anything better out there for the 33-year-old tackle.

It's a great deal for the Jets. The more he plays, the more he'll make. They're protected against a situation in which he's not able to make it through much of the season.

In 2022, he missed 13 regular-season games due to injury. In 2020, he missed 14 regular-season games. So the Jets had good reason to protect themselves. Now, Smith has a strong financial incentive to turn back the clock to 2015.