Former Packers Pass Rusher Za’Darius Smith Pulls a U-Turn on Baltimore Trade; Remains Free Agent

Published 03/19/2022, 12:00 PM EDT

The former Green Bay Packers Za’Darius Smith is going nowhere fellas! He stays in the market as a free agent. Earlier this week, it was reported that the elite pass rusher had a deal with the Baltimore Ravens.

However, the NFL insider Ian Rapoport broke the latest update on the matter, creating a twist in the entire story.

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Last week, the Packers made a series of decisions leading to the release and retention of several players in the team. Za’ Darius Smith was one amongst those who left the side. And now he is left with bare hands and no deals to feature in the upcoming NFL season.

Za’Darius Smith – The Green Bay Packers pass-rusher

Smith was considered one of the most prominent pass-rushers for the team. While the club was struggling with some salary cap hits, they were left with no choice but to release some of the key members of the group.

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All these hasty decisions led to the release of Za’Darius Smith and the retention of their long-time pass rusher Preston Smith with an extension for 4 years.

As soon as the Packers made their decision, other clubs were keen to hop into the trade. In just a couple of days, news outlets reported Smith’s entry into a new club for the upcoming season. The Baltimore Ravens were the first to try drafting a deal with him, a four-year, $35 million contract which binds him till the 2025 NFL season.

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However, the latest updates now seem to have faded all the progress in his status. The two-time pro-bowl star began his NFL career through the Ravens back in 2015, and this deal would have helped him relish his career again.

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Smith & his tryst with injuries

Smith was one of those players who had to leave the field abruptly because of never-ending injuries. Despite being the top performer, he couldn’t help himself; but watch the game as a spectator. He was suffering from a severe back injury. After playing for just one match, Smith was benched for the entire 2021 season. This increased his chances of being traded in consecutive years.

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Similarly, the Packers released him amid his ongoing contract with the team to make a salary cap space. As a player, Smith is an exceptional pass-rusher. He racked up 119 combined tackles, 52 quarterback hits, and 18.5 sacks for the Ravens. The 2019 NFL season witnessed Smith’s all-time best performance, making him one of the most sought defensive ends for the team. It’s yet to see what’s next for the star as the season is about to begin very soon!

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Deepesh Nair

418 articles

Deepesh Nair is an NFL author at EssentiallySports. Having started his career in journalism as a trending news writer, he has published around 500 articles for various media portals. Although Deepesh comes from a Computer Science background, his fondness for writing has persuaded him to create his career in it.

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