- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
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Interesting wrinkle in Geno Smith's four-year, $5 million contract:
About $690,000 is tied to his participation in the voluntary off-season program, according to ProFootballTalk.com. It comes into play during the final two years of the deal. In 2015, $276,328 of his $861,328 salary hinges on him showing up for at least 80 percent of the workouts. In 2016, it's $414,491 of $1.08 million. Essentially, they're workout bonuses in lieu of guaranteed base salaries.
This sort of thing isn't unprecedented in rookie contracts (the Jets did it last year with WR Stephen Hill), but this is getting more attention because it was the first deal negotiated by Jay Z's Roc Nation Sports.
It's being speculated the Jets wanted to include the workout language because they're concerned about Smith's desire to participate in the offseason. While that can't be ruled out, the more logical reason is that it allowed the two sides to bridge a gap in the negotiations.
Smith was drafted in the second round, same as QBs Colin Kaepernick and Andy Dalton in 2011, and he was playing off their contracts, seeking guaranteed money in the third year. GM John Idzik was opposed to that. The workout "bonus" allows Smith to earn easy money (as long as he shows up) before the start of the season. But it's not guaranteed. If they cut him before he completes the off-season program, he gets nothing. Also, as we learned with Darrelle Revis, Idzik won't cut him any slack if he misses workouts.