Preston Smith Trades Pay for Sack Incentives

Green Bay linebacker Smith's contract adjustment sparks interest.

by Nouman Rasool
Preston Smith Trades Pay for Sack Incentives
© Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Green Bay Packers linebacker Preston Smith has agreed to a significant pay adjustment, demonstrating his commitment to the team's roster and its financial flexibility as the new league year looms. The decision to restructure Smith's contract comes amidst the Packers' efforts to navigate the complex landscape of salary caps in professional football.

Originally slated to earn $12.4 million for the upcoming season, Smith's compensation package included a $5.7 million base salary along with a $5.4 million roster bonus. However, in a strategic move aimed at easing the team's financial burden, Smith has agreed to a reduction of over $2 million from his base salary, ultimately lowering his total earnings to $10 million for the year.

Sack Incentives Boost Smith's Earnings

In exchange for this adjustment, Smith stands to earn additional income through performance-based incentives, particularly focused on his ability to generate quarterback sacks. With the potential to recoup most of the lost earnings through a 10-sack season, Smith's contract now provides ample motivation for on-field success.

Notably, a stellar performance resulting in 14 sacks could see him collect a substantial $4 million bonus. Despite the financial adjustments, Smith's value to the team remains undiminished. With a track record of consistent performance, including eight sacks and 21 quarterback hits in the previous season, Smith continues to be a pivotal player in Green Bay's defensive lineup.

Additionally, his versatility allows him to seamlessly transition between linebacker and defensive end roles, ensuring his impact across various defensive schemes. The restructuring of Smith's contract not only benefits the Packers in the short term but also avoids any long-term salary cap implications.

As the team prepares for the upcoming season, Smith's commitment to excellence and championship aspirations set the tone for a rigorous offseason regimen focused on improvement and success on the field. With his contract now secured through the 2026 season, Smith's dedication to the Packers' cause remains steadfast.

As he aptly stated following the conclusion of the previous season, the focus remains on turning weaknesses into strengths and building upon the foundation laid during the offseason, all in pursuit of championship glory.