|Smith will get an extra $1 million for playing Saturday. (Getty Images)|
On Saturday, Alex Smith will do what many felt was unthinkable this year: start a playoff game for the 49ers. And when San Francisco welcomes New Orleans to the west coast, and Smith takes his first snap, he'll also be $1 million richer.
That's because, according to a report from Adam Schefter of ESPN, Smith playing in a playoff game triggers a bonus in his contract -- a one-year deal signed prior to this season -- that pays him an extra million.
In order to activate this bonus, Smith also had to play in more than 70 percent of the 49ers snaps, but he cruised past that easily in 2011.
Smith's 2011 season under new coach Jim Harbaugh has been a revelation: he completed 61.3 percent of his passes, threw for 3,144 yards (both career highs) and led the NFL with a league-low 1.1 percent interception rate. His 7.1 yards per attempt is a career high, as is his 90.7 quarterback rating.
His lack of mistakes and efficiency in the Niners new offense is what put them over the top as a contender this season; there's little question that the extra million bucks the 49ers will shell out for actually getting to the playoffs is worth it.
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