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Breakdown of LB Malcolm Smith’s contract with the Browns

A look at how much the team’s returning linebacker will make with the Browns.

Indianapolis Colts v Cleveland Browns Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns have re-signed veteran LB Malcolm Smith to a 1-year deal worth $1,212,500. Smith exceeded expectations for the Browns last year and graded well, so it’s nice to see him return at such a cheap price. It pretty much matches the offer I wanted Cleveland to offer him (I predicted 1-year, $1.15 million).

LB Malcolm Smith’s Contract, Cap Hits Per Year

Year Base Salary Signing Bonus Veteran Salary Total Cap Hit
Year Base Salary Signing Bonus Veteran Salary Total Cap Hit
2021 $1,075,000 $137,500 ($225,000) $987,500
  • Smith’s contract has $500,000 in full guarantees, which consists of $362,500 from his base salary and his $137,500 million signing bonus.
  • What is the “veteran salary” amount? Well, it’s not really a negative on Smith’s contract, but it helps us demonstrate a reduction in Smith’s cap hit. If a veteran player accepts the minimum salary, they qualify for the veteran salary benefit.
  • The veteran salary benefit allows a player to receive a $137,500 bonus (i.e. his signing bonus). For the benefit of the team, though, only the minimum salary amount equivalent to a second-year player gets charged to the cap. Looking at Spotrac’s minimum salary table, we see a second-year player gets a minimum of $800,000. Therefore, the cap hit for Smith is $800,000 + $137,500.