Green Bay Packers OLB Za’Darius Smith deleted Packers-related items from his social media on Friday. Paired with his contract situation, it leaves one to believe he will not be back in 2022. Smith, going into the final season of a 4 year, $66 million dollar deal he signed before the 2019 season, has a cap number of roughly $28mm for next year.
Smith was hindered with a severe back injury, which required surgery, during 2021. He played in 2 out of a possible 18 games, both on a pitch count. Given his recent injury history, coupled with his cap number and Green Bay’s current cap situation, it makes sense that the Packers are likely moving forward without Z, as Andy referenced above.
Smith, a two-time Pro Bowler and 2020 2nd Team All-Pro with Green Bay, recorded 26 sacks in his first two seasons with the Packers. Known for his aggressive style of play, be it pass rushing on the outside or up the middle, he brought a juice and energy to the 2019 team that sparked it’s success.
Also of note, the Packers parted ways with outside linebackers coach Mike Smith on Friday. Like Za’Darius, coach Smith had been with the Packers since 2019, when Head Coach Matt LaFleur first took over. Green Bay hired Jason Rebrovich as Smith’s replacement a few hours later on Friday.——————
Alex grew up in a family of Chicago Bears fans in the suburbs of Chicago but was always a diehard Packers fan. Alex\\\'s AIM name when he was in elementary/middle school was PackerAlex. He now lives in Nashville, Tennessee and you can follow him on twitter at @Alex_Mayer93.