Watch CBS News

Za'Darius Smith Signs With Vikings After Reportedly Backing Out Of Ravens Reunion

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Outside linebacker Za'Darius Smith will stay in the NFC North, agreeing to a three-year, $42 million deal with the Minnesota Vikings after a reunion with the Baltimore Ravens reportedly fell through last week.

The 29-year-old Smith has incentives to earn up to $47 million over the life of the deal.

Reports surfaced on March 16 that Ravens and Smith had agreed to a four-year contract worth $35 million, plus incentives possibly adding another $15 million, before the edge rusher, according to The Athletic's Jeff Zrebiec, "changed his mind."

The Vikings' offer is worth about $5.25 million more per year before factoring in the performance incentives, and about $3 million more annually with them.

Smith has spent the last three seasons with the Packers, and was elected to the Pro Bowl in 2019 and 2020 after compiling 13 1/2 and 12 1/2 sacks, respectively.

He was limited to one game in 2021 after suffering a back injury in Week 1 and undergoing surgery in October, and Green Bay released him in March.

Minnesota assistant head coach Mike Pettine was Smith's defensive coordinator with the Packers in 2019 and 2020.

Baltimore drafted Smith in the 4th round of the 2015 NFL Draft out of Kentucky. Over the course of four seasons with the Ravens, Smith had 119 combined tackles, 112 quarterback hits and 18 1/2 sacks, highlighted by his 2018 campaign with 8 1/2 sacks and 25 quarterback hits.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.