How Sanchez's contract could impact 49ers, Alex Smith

How Sanchez's contract could impact 49ers, Alex Smith
March 10, 2012, 5:14 pm
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The 49ers' contract negotiations with quarterback Alex Smith got a lot more interesting Friday night when the New York Jets provided a contract for quarterback Mark Sanchez that should serve to only strengthen Smith's resolve.Now, Smith's camp has another example of what "fair market value" means. Smith, who is coming off his best career season, theoretically should be entering his prime. Smith turns 28 in May.The 49ers had been balking at presenting the kind of contract that the Buffalo Bills awarded Ryan Fitzpatrick, sources said, because the 49ers did not believe that contract was indicative of Fitzpatrick's true value. In other words, the 49ers believe the Bills overpaid.
But now, the Jets have stepped up with an extension for Sanchez that also could easily be viewed as excessive for a quarterback who ranked 28th, 27th and 23rd in the NFL in passing in his first three seasons.The 49ers, who have a contract offer on the table for Smith, are reticent to offer him a long-term deal with 20 million-plus in guaranteed money because they want to keep the door open for Colin Kaepernick to eventually take over as the starter, according to the sources.
Smith arrived with the 49ers in 2005 as the No. 1 overall pick. He signed a six-year, 49.5 million contract. But Smith agreed to a sizable pay cut after his fourth season. He ended up collecting approximately 32 million in his first six seasons before signing a one-year, 4 million contract last year. He collected another 2.5 million in incentives due to the team's success.
With free agency set to begin on Tuesday, all indications are that Smith's agent, Tom Condon, will be able to shop his client's services throughout the league to determine, exactly, his true market value. Here's a look at how Alex Smith stacks up with some comparable quarterbacks who recently signed new contracts:RYAN FITZPATRICK, Bills
Age: 29
Contract status: Signed contract extension on Oct. 28, 2011, that totals seven years, 62.195 million with 24 million guaranteed.2009-2011 statistics
Games (W-L): 39 games, 37 starts (14-23)
Comp-Att (Pct): 735 of 1,237 (59.4)
Avg yards per game: 211.6
TDsInt: 5648
Rating: 78.3
MARK SANCHEZ, Jets
Age: 25
Contract status: Signed contract extension on Friday that reportedly totals five years, 58.25 million with 20.5 million in guarantees for 2012 and '13. The deal includes three new years with 40.5 million in new money.2009-2011 statistics
Games (W-L): 47 games, 47 starts (27-20)
Comp-Att (Pct): 782 of 1,414 (55.3)
Avg yards per game: 195.9
TDsInt: 5551
Rating: 73.2
ALEX SMITH, 49ers
Age: 28 in May
Contract status: Unsigned for 20122009-2011 statistics
Games (W-L): 38 games, 36 starts (21-15)
Comp-Att (Pct): 702 of 1,159 (60.6)
Avg yards per game: 206.9
TDsInt: 4927
Rating: 85.2

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