So you give him a 2 year deal which you can void after 1 year if he doesn't reach certain goals. I would think that a deal averaging 4 or 5 million a year would get it done if he wants to be here. If you do cut Smitty, his cap savings of 2 million this year and 6 million next year should just about fit the need. You can structure the deal with lets say a 3 million signing bonus and 1 million the first year and 6 million the second year. The cap is 3 million this year and 7 million next year. Truth is you could bring him in and keep Smitty for that matter. Wait until after the draft and free agency to see if you want to keep Smitty or not. Even with the 7 million cap we would have 4 left which could sign a good safety or corner.
The savings would be 1 mil this year which is nothing. This may kick in 2016 but the reality is he can still be cut later if he doesn't perform to the standard the Panthers want. The hit would still be less than if he stayed.he is still going to get paid for 2 years either way. If you cut him before 2015 season you still save.The 3 mil option bonus is neglible also. It is the base salary where you would save in the year he is cut and thereafter. The difference is what you pay for a year to see if this season becomes the trend or a blip.If just a blip you pay him the next year as it would be worth it and so on.
Why do you keep making up numbers. You save 4 million in salary if you cut him this year, not 1. I million in base salary and 3 million in option bonus. And you save 2 million in salary cap as well as a June 1st cut. But the big savings are next year. His salary and option bonus next year would be 8 million and his prorated signing bonus is 2 million for a total of 10 in cap hit, you save 6 million by cutting him now. If you keep him this year and cut him next year you will still have dead cap space of 6 million which is 2 million more than if you cut him.
I understand that in the big scheme of things you can argue that 2 million this year and 2 or 4 million next year is no big deal and if Smith were having 1000 yard seasons we wouldn't be having this discussion. But he had a big drop off last year and there is no guaranteed he won't drop off even further. How many receivers after the age of 35 have had 1000 yard seasons other than Jerry Rice? Not many. Owens, Brown, Galloway area few. How many are 5'9" and like to initiate contact?
Reggie Wayne tried it last year and got hurt and ended up with 500 yards. Even Jerry Rice tore his ACL and missed the season at age 35. Smith is slowing down and will be injury prone moving forward particularly given his game is desire, hard hits and not shrinking from contact. That works when you are young but not when you are old.
Again he could very well be here this year but this will be his last unless he takes on a different role and restructures his contract. Even then Gettleman is using him to send a message to the team I believe which is that if you don't play along and do what I ask you do, no one is irreplaceable, not even the last remaining player from the superbowl team who has meant so much to this franchise. And that doesn't have a price tag on it. Who is Gettleman talking to with that message. I think Johnson for one, maybe others.
So the scenarios are this. If we keep him and exercise the option bonus we pay him 4 million in base salary this year, his bonus option is 1 million for a total salary of 5 million. When you add the prorated signing bonus of 2 million you get a cap hit of 7 million. By triggering the option bonus you extend the contract through 2016 and his salary of 9,000,000 that year and a cap hit of 12 million. Plus you are on the hook for the other two years of option bonus of 1 million apiece for a total of 3.
If you keep him this year but don't exercise the option bonus (don't know if this is an option or if the bonus kicks in automatically if he still here, but normally that is called a roster bonus not a bonus option) We are on the hook for his 4 million dollar salary, his non-exercise bonus kicks in which is 3 million, meaning a 7 million dollar salary and with a 2 million signing bonus proration we have a cap hit of 9 million this year.
If we cut him before the option bonus kicks in we still have to pay him 3 million of the 4 million in 2014 salary since it is guaranteed and his signing bonus proration escalates to 6 million giving us a dead cap hit of 9 million. If this were after June 1st his cap hit would be the 3 million guaranteed money and the 2 million of the 6 million signing bonus proration (which is the 2014 portion) or 5 million this year and the remaining 4 million in cap hit would roll over to next year.
Since his cap hit if we keep him would be 7 million this year and 10 million next year, the savings to cut him would be at least 2 million this year (depending on the option clause) and 6 million next year for a total of 8 million.
So cutting him saves 1 million in salary and 3 million from the option bonus for a total of 4 million this year and 7 million next year.
That is why they want him to renegotiate his contract which is what everyone expected to happen when he signed his contract in 2012.