Smith contract a low-risk proposition for Pats

Smith contract a low-risk proposition for Pats
May 6, 2014, 6:30 pm
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FOXBORO -- The numbers on Will Smith's contract are in. As expected, it's a low-risk proposition for the Patriots.

The deal is for one year and carries a base salary of $855,000, which is the veteran minimum.

With the Smith contract in place, New England's salary-cap space is down to $7,692,369.

Smith's cap number is likely $585,000, according to Miguel Benzan of PatsCap.com, which would qualify as the Minimum Salary Benefit.

Added to the latest CBA, the Minimum Salary Benefit was designed to make it easier for veterans to extend their careers by allowing teams to assign them smaller cap hits.

To qualify for the MSB, a player must have four credited seasons under his belt. He also must be making a minimum base salary and his bonuses must not exceed $65,000.
 
If applied, the MSB reduces a veteran's cap hit to the minimum base salary of a second-year player -- $570,000 in 2014 -- plus bonus money.
 
Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com reports that the Patriots have given Smith a $50,000 roster bonus (if he is on the 53-man roster for the first game of the regular season) as well as a $15,000 workout bonus. However, since Smith spent 2013 on injured reserve, his $50,000 roster bonus likely does not currently count against New England's cap.