Packers OLB Preston Smith hits 8 sacks, earns another $750,000 incentive bonus

Packers Wire

The incentive-laden restructure of Preston Smith’s contract keeps looking better and better for both the player and the Green Bay Packers.

Smith, who delivered another sack during the Packers’ 24-22 win over the Cleveland Browns on Saturday, hit another incentive in his contract and earned $750,000.

Smith has eight sacks this season. He hit his first incentive – worth $500,000 – when he reached six sacks earlier this year. His total earned through contract incentives now sits at $1.25 million, a significant sum for a player who agreed to a paycut to stay in Green Bay in 2021.

The Packers have two more regular-season games to play, giving Smith a real opportunity to hit at least one more of the incentive levels. If he delivers two more sacks and gets to 10, he’ll earn another $750,000.

If he can produce four more sacks in the last two games, he’ll earn the $750,000 for getting to 10 and another $1.2 million for reaching 12.

The contract provided an opportunity to earn back $4.4 million total. The final $1.2 million, for getting to 14 sacks, is probably out of reach. But earning at least $2 million of the $4.4 million included in the contract and making over $10 million total this year is certainly possible for Smith, who was originally scheduled to make $12 million in 2021 before the restructure.

Smith, who had just four sacks during a disappointing 2020 season, has six sacks in his last six games, and he’s on pace to more than double the amount of total pressures (29) he produced lat season.

The Packers and Smith found a creative and smart way of slashing his cap hit but keeping him on the roster, while also providing financial incentive for a bounceback season. It’s all come together beautifully for Smith and the Packers. The player is having a terrific season, upping his value considerably whether he’s in Green Bay or not next season, and the Packers are enjoying the rewards of keeping a veteran player at a premium position.