How about that? Once projected as the No. 1 overall pick, or at worst certain to go very early, even as he was skipping out on the Senior Bowl, Geno Smith slid all the way out of the first round Thursday night.
It was an agonizingly familiar green room struggle, the sort of sideshow referenced above that makes for gruesome, gripping television as Smith actions last night seemed to depart from his words the day before.
And then came the words from someone who has been in Geno’s shoes.
Hang in there Geno, “good things come to those who wait” -Paul Tagliabue
— Aaron Rodgers (@AaronRodgers12) April 26, 2013
Rodgers was a victim of another unfriendly draft board years back, but went in the first round. Geno did not and reportedly hung around only until a few picks remained in the first round and told ESPN he was going home.
UPDATE, 10:40 am:
West Virginia QB Geno Smith has decided to remain in New York and will be attending the draft tonight in Radio City Music Hall.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 26, 2013
This was not entirely unlike the 2005 draft that claimed Rodgers. Eleven teams found a starting quarterback in the past two drafts and three others made trades for one this offseason. No wonder eight offensive linemen went in the first round Thursday. You must protect those investments.
Speaking of, there is a financial impact to consider here.
Smith’s slide will be costly, according to estimates at OverTheCap.com. Using the Eagles as an example, if Smith were taken with their first-round pick at No. 4, his rookie contract would have been worth about $19.8 million with a signing bonus around $12.5 million and an annual salary maxing out at around $6.3 million in 2016-17 season.
If the Eagles pick Smith with the third pick in today’s second round, Smith’s total contract would be worth around $5.3 million with a signing bonus of around $2.2 million and a high salary of around $1.7 million in that fourth season.
A top-10 pick has an option for a fifth year in which the salary is the average of the top 10 salaries at the position. There is no fifth-year option in a second-round pick’s contract.
Smith has five early options today. The Jaguars pick first, the Eagles are third, the Cardinals are sixth, the Jets are seventh and the Raiders are 10th — though each, it could be argued, has a made a recent move to acquire quarterback. Then again, maybe none of those are long-term guys, but you do have to wonder what implications, if any, are attached to Geno’s hasty exit.
On Wednesday, Smith sounded optimistic about his chances with the Jets. On Thursday, the Jets fans sounded like this after picks No. 9 and 13.
Reminder: Chat at 11 a.m. We’ll cover the draft, spring football and a long time with no football. We’ll post the link on the blog before we get started.