We had mentioned the other day that WR/KR Brad Smith of the Buffalo Bills had restructured his contract to reduce his cash and cap charges to help keep a spot on the roster. Smith reduced his total contract by $3 million dollars, taking a $1.25 million dollar paycut in 2013 and a $1.75 million dollar paycut in 2014 in an attempt to keep his roster spot with the Bills.
Smith’s new base salary for the season is $1.5 million. Smith had already received a $500,000 roster bonus in March and he will carry a $2.575 million dollar salary cap charge for the season. Smith’s 2014 salary will decline from $3 million to $1.4 million and his roster bonus was reduced from $500,000 to $250,000. Smith also has the potential to earn a $100,000 workout bonus in 2014 plus incentives. No upfront money was paid to Smith in the renegotiation.
Smith had signed a 4 year contract with Buffalo worth $14.75 million in 2011, based on his work as an all around threat for the New York Jets. The contract, which contained $3.25 million in guarantees, reflected the belief that Smith could be a “Wildcat” QB, Wide Receiver, and Kick Returner for the Bills. The Bills may have fallen into the trap of falling in love with a division rival’s player as Smith has failed to develop as a WR for the Jets and was one of just many return men to thrive under Mike Westhoff’s special teams units. With Smith’s dead money remaining at $500,000 in 2014 he will need to become a bigger contributor to the Bills offense in 2013 if he has any chance of playing out the 2014 season.
Jason is the founder of OTC and has been studying NFL contracts and the salary cap for over 15 years. Jason has co-authored two books about the NFL, Crunching Numbers and the Drafting Stage, which are widely circulated in the industry and hosts the OTC Podcast. Jason’s work has been featured in various publications including the Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, NFL Network and more. OTC is widely considered the leading authority on contract matters in the NFL.