NFL Rumors: Vikings and Za'Darius Smith Agree to 3-year Contract

It looks like Za'Darius Smith enjoyed his time in the NFC North so much that he decided to stay for another few years.
On Tuesday afternoon, news broke that the former Green Bay Packer has signed with their cross border rivals in Minnesota. According to Ian Rapoport, the deal with the Vikings will keep Smith in the division for another 3 years on a contract with a base value of $42 million but worth up to $47 million when including incentives.

Smith was cut by Green Bay just over a week ago on March 14th, and before signing with the Vikings today the linebacker had actually agreed to terms with the Baltimore Ravens but backed out on a 4 year deal that was reportedly worth $35 million. The Ravens were Smith's original squad having been selected by the franchise in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL Draft and spending his first 4 years there. Apparently, the homecoming was short-lived however when Smith expressed second thoughts after seeing the significant deals signed by other players at his position such as Von Miller ($20 million/yr) and Chandler Jones ($17 million/yr).

The contract with Minnesota will land Za'Darius in the realm of $14 million per year, so in essence Smith was smart to bet on himself when he reevaluated the offseason marketplace as it developed. For the Vikings, they will look to pair Smith across from Danielle Hunter in their new defense to create what should be a lethal pass-rushing combination if both men can stay healthy.
Last season, Smith only played 17 snaps during the 2021 regular season due to a back injury but did return for the Packers playoff game where he logged a sack. Prior to last year, Smith was a monster off the edge for Green Bay and over 33 regular season games recorded 26 sacks, 5 forced fumbles and 108 tackles. While it may be considered a boom-or-bust move, the Vikings are fairly desperate for talent on defense and Smith has the potential to provide a significant infusion of athleticism.

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