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Alex Smith contract extension gives Jimmy Garoppolo plenty to think about

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The State of the Union went down in Washington, D.C. Tuesday evening, and somehow the NFL overshadowed it. Washington made a trade to acquire Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith, and it’s safe to say DC will be buzzing on Wednesday.

The deal comes with Alex Smith also signing a four-year contract extension that is going to help Jimmy Garoppolo, Kirk Cousins, and others get some serious coin in the coming months. The trade will be formally executed in March with the new league year, and when that happens, Smith will formally sign a four-year, $94 million contract, with $71 million in guaranteed money.

There is no word on how much of that $71 million is fully guaranteed, but it is likely to be a sizable chunk. This total guarantee brings him in second behind Matthew Stafford ($92 million total guarantees) and Andrew Luck ($87 million total guarantees). Their respective fully guaranteed money was $60.5 million and $47 million. We don’t know about Smith’s fully guaranteed money, so we certainly have to take things with a grain of salt. But even still, Smith is looking at a serious chunk of fully guaranteed money.

This means a ton for quarterbacks looking at new contracts. Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan are under contract but will sign extensions sooner rather than later. But this offseason, Kirk Cousins will sign a new contract somewhere, and Jimmy Garoppolo could sign a contract extension with the San Francisco 49ers. It will be interesting to see if Garoppolo waits to see what Cousins gets, or vice versa. I would actually say they would be smart to meet and talk about their contract situations and try to leverage each other behind the scenes. But, I doubt we see that.

Whether that happens or not, we’re going to see record-breaking contracts this offseason. Kirk Cousins is not the best quarterback in the league, but he has a chance to hit unrestricted free agency in as good a situation as a quarterback has ever been in. Normally a quarterback gets franchised and signs without much leverage. If Cousins hits the open market, he’ll have all the leverage, with several teams desperate for quarterback help. Expect record-breaking guaranteed money, and a fascinating run up to free agency.