July 26, 2005

Top pick Smith agrees $49.5 million deal with 49ers

RALEIGH, North Carolina (Reuters) - Top draft pick Alex
Smith has agreed to a six-year, $49.5 million deal with the San
Francisco 49ers, the richest contract ever for an NFL rookie.

"We're happy to have it done and get him in to camp on
time," the quarterback's agent, Tom Condon, told The Kansas
City Star. "We think he's got a great future in the league."

The 49ers have scheduled a news conference for Tuesday to
announce the signing of the Heisman Trophy finalist, who
skipped his senior year at the University of Utah to enter the

"He just closed on his house," Smith's mother, Pam, told
The San Francisco Chronicle. "He needed to pay the mortgage."

Smith's average pay of $8.25 million a year tops the $7.5
million New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, 2004's top
draft pick, will make.

A total of $24 million of Smith's contract is guaranteed,
the most ever for a rookie. Manning's 2004 signing had $20
million in guaranteed money.

"It was really important for Alex to get this done before
training camp started," his mother said.

The 49ers, 2-14 last season, open training camp Friday.