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Za’Darius Smith lands with Vikings on 3-year, $42 million deal after snubbing Ravens

Za'Darius Smith, Vikings

Free-agent linebacker Za’Darius Smith was previously in agreement with the Baltimore Ravens on a four-year deal with $35 million, but he changed his mind and decided to back out because of a stall in negotiations. Now, Smith has signed elsewhere, with the Minnesota Vikings bringing in the All-Pro defender for three years and $42 million.

Via Jeremy Fowler and Adam Schefter of ESPN:

This is a fantastic addition for the Vikings because Smith is truly one of the best pass-rushers around. While he only played in one game last season due to injury, the 29-year-old registered 12.5 sacks in 2020 and 13.5 in ’19, absolutely terrorizing opposing quarterbacks on a weekly basis.

The Vikings’ defense desperately needs some juice as well, finishing in the bottom of the league in total yards, passing yards, points allowed, and rushing yards. Coincidentally enough, he returns to the NFC North where he’s dominated over the last few seasons with Green Bay.

Smith actually spent the first four years of his NFL career with the Ravens before signing with the Packers as a free agent in 2019. He was that close to a Baltimore reunion, but now the former Kentucky standout lands on a Vikings team who will be extremely happy to have him wreaking havoc in 2022.