One of the important pieces of news this past weekend saw the Miami Dolphins come to terms on a four year contract extension with outside linebacker Cameron Wake. The deal is reportedly worth $49 million, with $20 million set to be guaranteed. For a quick comparison, the 49ers signed Ahmad Brooks to a six year deal worth a maximum of $44.5 million, with approximately $17 million in a variety of guarantees (a mix of full and injury-based guarantees).
Wake is a monster in the pass rush, in spite of seeing his sack total dip this past season. Based on Pro Football Focus' assessment, he had 52 QB pressures in 2011 after 29 in 2010. In their ratings system, they had Wake ranked as the top 3-4 outside linebacker. Ranking second for 2011 was Aldon Smith, thanks to a monstrous performance in the pass rush side portion of the grade.
Aldon Smith is entering the second season of his four-year rookie contract. In the upcoming season he will get a crack at the starting outside linebacker position opposite Ahmad Brooks. If Smith is able to handle the increased responsibilities of the outside linebacker job, his negotiating position will only continue to skyrocket. If Smith can provide consistency in the pass rush and show he can develop against the rush and in pass coverage, this Cameron Wake contract will likely prove to be on the very low end of the scale for Smith.