49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

March 4, 2008
A closer look at Justin Smith's contract

The numbers are in as far as Justin Smith’s contract, and it appears to me (a guy who stinks with money) that it’s a wise deal for the 49ers. Why is it wise? As you can see, the biggest base salaries come in the final three years of the deal. Smith received about $11 million to sign, an amount that is prorated over the life of the contract. He got another $9 or so million in other bonuses that are front-loaded, thus offsetting the relatively low base salaries in the early years of his contract. That means that if Smith is released before, say, the 2012 season, the 49ers only would be on the hook, salary cap-wise, for the remainder of his signing bonus, which would be about $3.7 million. Q.E.D.

Base salaries, according to the NFL Players Association

2008: $750,000
2009: $3,500,000
2010: $2,625,000
2011: 5,000,000
2012: 5,875,000
2013: 7,500,000

Other base salaries, according to NFLPA
Dontarrious Thomas
2008: $650,000
2009: $650,000

Allen Rossum
2008: $830,000

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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