Packers OLB Za'Darius Smith had back surgery this week and will miss "an extended period of time," according to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo. There's reportedly "hope" that Smith's season is not over, but that phrasing means it could be. Smith is safe to drop in nearly all IDP redraft formats, in case you had been hanging on to him. His continued absence leaves Preston Smith and Rashan Gary as Green Bay's top 2 on the edge.
The Vikings are signing EDGE Za'Darius Smith to a 3-year, $42 million deal with a top value of $47 million, according to multiple reports. Smith nearly signed with the Ravens but backed off that and lands with a Minnesota defense that will position him opposite DE Danielle Hunter. It's not yet clear how the new Vikings staff will primarily align its front 7. That only matters for how the positional designations will settle out for IDP leagues. The contract -- and the fact that 2 teams were willing to pay him -- indicates that Smith should be ready to return from the back surgery that halted his 2021 campaign. He has a chance to be a nice value in pressure-friendly fantasy football leagues. Smith totaled 26 sacks over his past 2 healthy campaigns.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that EDGE Za'Darius Smith is not signing with the Ravens, despite previous reports that they'd agreed to terms. So he remains on the free-agent market after his release from the Packers.
The Ravens have agreed to a 4-year, $35 million deal with EDGE Za'Darius Smith, according to multiple reports. Smith played his 1st 4 seasons with Baltimore before leaving for Green Bay in free agency. Smith racked up 26 sacks over 2 years with the Packers before missing nearly all of last season with a back injury. He returns to a Baltimore defense that needs the pass-rush help. The money says the Ravens believe Smith will be all the way back, but we'll keep an eye on his status through the offseason.
The Packers have released EDGE Za'Darius Smith. Rashan Gary and Preston Smith should remain Green Bay's primary edge duo after a season that saw Za'Darius Smith barely play because of a nagging back injury that eventually required surgery. Smith -- who will turn 30 in September -- should find plenty of suitors on the open market if he's back to full health, though.
The Packers are placing OLB Za'Darius Smith on IR for the back injury that dogged him throughout the summer and limited his Week 1 playing time. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that the team hopes a few weeks of rest will allow Smith to return at full strength, rather than having him manage the back issue throughout the season. Smith's absence will mean more playing time on the edges for Rashan Gary and Jonathan Garvin. Gary -- a 1st-round pick in 2019 -- was already viewed as a potential breakout performer for Green Bay this year, after coming on for 5 sacks in a limited role in 2020. He's worth a look in deeper IDP leagues that favor sack/pressure scoring.
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