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49ers Restructure Aldon Smith’s Deal, no Longer Guaranteed

This is something you don’t see every day. Talented but troubled San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith has restructured his contract for the 2015 season.

Instead of his $9.75 million being fully guaranteed, which would have taken place at the start of the new league year on March 10th, Smith has decided to bet on himself. The new salary (also $9.75 million) will come in the form of monthly and weekly roster bonuses, which means the 49ers can release Smith at any point without fully guaranteeing the deal.

Without doing much research on the topic, this is the first time I have seen anything like this around the NFL. Smith, who was suspended for the first nine games of the 2014 season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, was set to earn the near $10 million guaranteed after the 49ers picked up his 2015 option last year.

Still set to become a free agent following the 2015 season, Smith is banking on himself to stay out of trouble. It could also be a power play from a 49ers organization that has stood by Smith following multiple off-field incidents, including a DUI and gun charges. San Francisco could have released Smith prior to Tuesday without paying him a dime of the $9.75 million owed to him. Though, that was obviously an unlikely scenario.

It’s unclear what this does regarding San Francisco’s cap, but if the guaranteed money was converted to roster bonuses, it should have some impact.

Photo: USA Today