The Minnesota Vikings have decided to add a little more pass rush to Ed Donatell’s defense, and they’re doing it by bringing in a face that’s haunted them quite a bit over the past few years.
The Vikings have signed edge rusher Za’Darius Smith, who had spent the past three seasons with the Green Bay Packers. Here are the terms of the deal, per Close, Personal Friend of The Daily Norseman Tom Pelissero™ of the NFL Network:
Za’Darius Smith agreed to terms with the Minnesota Vikings, per source.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 22, 2022
3 year deal
Base value of 42 million
Worth up to 47 million with incentives
14 million APY
Smith was originally drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the 4th round of the 2015 NFL Draft out of Kentucky. He spent his first four seasons with Baltimore before signing with the Packers in 2019. In his first two seasons with the Packers, he had a total of 26 sacks, but was limited to just one regular season game and one playoff game with the Packers this past season because of injuries.
Earlier this offseason, the word went out that Smith was set to return to Baltimore, but for reasons that nobody seems to be quite sure of, his deal with the Ravens fell through and he remained on the market. The Vikings were an attractive destination for Smith because of the presence of the Vikings’ new outside linebackers coach, Mike Smith. Smith coached. . .uh, Smith. . .in Green Bay for the last three seasons.
The new guy appears to be getting things off on the right foot in his new home.
“Meet at the Quarterback”— Za'Darius Smith (@zadariussmith) March 21, 2022
“Meet at the Quarterback” was, of course, the motto of the legendary Purple People Eaters.
If the Vikings do plan on employing more 3-4 looks under Ed Donatell, Za’Darius Smith is the sort of player that could fit right in on the outside and provide a lot of pass rush if he can stay on the field. Teaming him with Danielle Hunter. . .who has also had injury issues in recent years. . .could present real problems for quarterbacks in the NFC North and around the league.
Welcome to Minnesota, Za’Darius Smith!