Preston Smith Takes 2nd Pay Cut in 6 Years in Order to Stay with Team - Sport News

Preston Smith Takes 2nd Pay Cut in 6 Years in Order to Stay with Team

When one thinks of the best defensive players on the Green Bay Packers, one probably thinks of Rashan Gary, Jaire Alexander, or Kenny Clark. And rightly so. Gary is one of the best young pass rushers in the NFL while Alexander and Clark have made multiple Pro Bowls.

Packers News: Preston Smith agrees to adjusted contract for 2024 - Acme  Packing Company

When on thinks of players that Carry the G and who sacrifice their own money to stay with the Packers, many may point to the most recent example of Aaron Jones. Other notable players who have done so in the past include Packers Hall of Famer Gilbert Brown and Pro Football Hall of Famer LeRoy Butler.

All of those players certainly deserve recognition for their accomplishments on the field and/or for their team-first mentality. However, there is one player currently on the team that really does not the recognition he deserves, neither on the field nor for what he does to sacrifice for the betterment of the team.

That player, of course, is Preston Smith, who just took his second pay cut in six years in order to remain with Green Bay.

The Green Bay Packers and Preston Smith Agree to a Restructured Contract

Green Bay Packers: Preston Smith Brutally Trash Talks Chicago Bears  Following 17-9 Victory

According to ESPN’s Field Yate, the Packers and Smith agreed to a restructured contract that will pay him $10 million in 2024. He was originally slated to make $12.4 million.

Bill Huber of Sports Illustrated reported that Smith also has three incentive-tiers for 2024 based on the number of sacks that he has:

“According to a source, with a 10-sack season, he’ll recoup most of the lost money. With 12 sacks, he’ll make a bit more than previously scheduled. With 14 sacks, he’ll collect a $4 million bonus.”

Smith has not had 10 sacks in a season since 2019, his first year with the Packers.

The restructured deal, however, is important for the Packers in a couple of ways. First, it gives them more wiggle room with their 2024 salary cap. While Smith can end making more money based on the number of sacks he has, money tied to incentives does not figure into salary cap space at the beginning of the new league year. Furthermore, the Packers did not have to add any void years to Smith’s contract (kick the can down the road) to make it happen.

Second, it means that the Packers will have one of the most important veterans at a key position back. Kingley Enagbare is recovering from a torn ACL, so Smith’s return to the team was important for both depth and consistency.

Preston Smith Leads the Green Bay Packers In Sacks Since Joining the Team in 2019

Smith, of course, was part of Brian Gutekunst’s wild free agent spending spree in 2019 that saw him also bring in Za”Darius Smith and Adrian Amos. Both of those players failed to see their contracts through to the end while Preston signed an extension in 2022.

The old adage is that the best ability is availability, and that has certainly been true about Smith. Since joining the Packers in 2019, he has not missed a single game (he actually has not missed a game in his entire career) and has started 79 out of a possible 82 games.

During that time, he has accumulated 41.5 sacks, which is tied with Mike Butler for the 11th-most in franchise history. It is also 10 more sacks than the next-closest Packers player has racked up during that time frame (Rashan Gary, 31.5).

 

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