It appears the rumors surrounding Alex Smith‘s contract negotiations have set off a bit of a national firestorm of the value of quarterbacks in the NFL. Jay Cutler and Tony Romo, it is said, are worth the $18 million per year, but Smith making $18 million per season means there is an epidemic that needs to be solved quickly.
Chris Simms discusses his thoughts on Smith and quarterback contracts in general in this short video. They note the contracts of guys like Matt Ryan plus the negotiations with Andrew Luck, Colin Kaepernick, and Russell Wilson. It is an interesting discussion given Simms is a former NFL quarterback who has been on both sides of the success line between watching his father and his own NFL career.
Before this thread explodes into “ALEX SMITH IS THE BEST!” and “ALEX SMITH IS THE WORST!” I’ll mention that the lack of a quarterback “middle class” really hurts the Chiefs in these negotiations. Reality is Smith is very good quarterback who can win his team playoff games and can be a good face for the franchise. That’s better than the vast majority of quarterbacks in the league and puts him in upper-middle range of starting quarterbacks.
The problem comes in that he’s not Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, or Peyton Manning. He’s not one of those Hall of Fame level players who can (and should) demand the $20 million per season contracts. Right now starting quarterbacks are paid like they are either a HOF/franchise quarterback or they are let go, there is no in-between. How else do we explain Cutler, Ryan, and Romo having contracts on par or better than Manning, Brady, Rodgers, and Drew Brees?
Smith’s value is somewhere between $8 million and $12 million annually, but such a class of quarterbacks doesn’t exist in NFL economics. As a result, you get the video you are about to watch below.
[Note: We are having some technical issues with video size. Sorry for the inconvenience.]