Andre Johnson, who led the league in receptions with 103 but was 11th in yardage, signed a 6 year, $39 million contract this week, including $13.5 million in bonuses. With Steve Smith's overall value expected to be more than Johnson's, this sets an initial starting point to extending Smith, not unlike using Chad Johnson's contract extension as a starting point in 2004. An early guess at a Smith extension could look something like this: 6 years, $41.5 million, with a $14.5 million bonus. It's not always as sumple as that, but in the end, it may be close. Smith has three years left on his deal, including $3.15 million in salary; a deal like the one proposed above would pay out a bonus this year around $7 million, another one next year worth $3 million, and have $1 million roster bonuses built into the remaining years. This structure would also save the team $1.8 million this year.
None of the defensive ends franchised have signed this week, but two deals may impact any possible Julius Peppers contract discussion - CB Nate Clements signed an 8 year, $80 million deal with a $23 million bonus, and OLB Adalius Thomas signed a deal believed to be worth $7.5 million a year with a $17.5 million bonus. While the Clements deal may be extremely backloaded, it may set a precedent.