Za'Darius Smith Joining Vikings After Backing Out of Ravens Deal

Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Za'Darius Smith (55) plays against the Detroit Lions during the first half of an NFL football game in Detroit, Dec. 13, 2020.

Former Ravens pass rusher Za'Darius Smith is headed to Minnesota.

After not finalizing terms with the Ravens last week, Smith returned to the free agent market and reached an agreement with the Vikings on Tuesday.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Smith has agreed to a three-year, $42 million contract with Minnesota, including incentives that could raise the value to $47 million.

Last week it was reported that Smith and the Ravens had reached agreement on a four-year, $35 million deal with a maximum value of $50 million. However, Smith never signed an agreement and returned to the free agent market. He was released by the Green Bay Packers on March 14 as part of a salary-cap savings move and was going to be due $27.6 million in 2022.

Smith, 29, was a fourth-round pick of the Ravens in 2015. He recorded 18.5 sacks in his four years in Baltimore, including a breakout final season in 2018 with 8.5 sacks and 25 quarterback hits. That landed him a mega-deal from the Packers the following offseason. Smith became a star in Green Bay, delivering 26 sacks and 60 quarterback hits over the next two seasons.

Last season, a back injury led to Smith playing in just two games. He reported to training camp with the issue but played in Week 1 before going on the shelf and having surgery. Smith returned for the playoffs and logged a sack in his only game back.

The Ravens were looking to add more pass rush potency after finishing the season with just 34 sacks (only eight teams had fewer). Tyus Bowser, who led the team with seven sacks, is coming off an Achilles injury suffered in the final game. Odafe Oweh showed a ton of potential with five sacks as a first-round rookie.

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