Tania Ganguli of the Houston Chronicle writes that the Houston Texans and DE Antonio Smith could use the recent extension handed out by the 49ers to DE Justin Smith as a benchmark for future contract negotiations.
Antonio Smith, 31, is entering the final year of his contract and currently counts $9.5 million against the team’s salary cap. He has $6 million base salary for the 2013 along with a $3.5 million in a pro-rated cap hit, according to Ganguli.
As for Justin Smith’s contract; he received a two-year extension that included a $6.56 million signing bonus as well as a $500,000 workout bonus and a $100,000 roster bonus to be paid out in 2013. In 2014 he has a base salary of $4.55 million and another $2.65 million in 2015.
The Texans currently have limited cap space to work with, but Justin Smith’s extension managed to free up $4.27 million in cap room, so it’s not out of the realm of possibilities that they could look to lock him in the near future while maintaining their strong defensive line.
The Texans will also need some additional cap space to re-sign LB Brian Cushing at some point as well.
We have Antonio Smith listed as the No. 24 player in our Top 50 – 2014 Free Agents list.