NFL rumors: Za’Darius Smith wants cut from Vikings, is a return to Packers likely?
Linebacker Za’Darius Smith tweeted a farewell message to the Minnesota Vikings. Could a reunion with the Green Bay Packers be in the cards?
The Minnesota Vikings have some decisions to make, because they’re currently way over the salary cap. The team has already cut linebacker Eric Kendricks, and he may very well be moving on from Adam Thelin.
There will be changes made for the Vikings, especially as they look to improve their team after being eliminated in the Wild Card Round by the New York Giants.
On Thursday, Vikings linebacker Zadarius Smith sent goodbye to the organization, his teammates, and the coaches for the 2022 season. He appeared to have hinted that he was leaving Minnesota.
I just want to say THANK YOU!” To Skol Nation for an amazing season and experience! Thanks to all my teammates, coaches, and the entire Minnesota Vikings organization! 💜 pic.twitter.com/LAVAy5jptS
— Zadarius Smith (@zadariussmith) March 9, 2023
After seeing this tweet, there must have been some fans hoping their favorite team would attack him. Hey, how about a reunion with the Green Bay Packers?
Well, we’re about to burst your bubble. And by that, we mean NFL Network national insider Ian Rapoport.
Za’Darius Smith is unlikely to meet with the Packers, or join any team in this offseason
According to Rapoport, Smith has officially asked to be released from his contract with the Vikings. However, Minnesota “has no plans to do so,” and that the situation is “not resolved.”
Zadarius Smith told the #Vikings Pro Bowl team he wanted to release him, I was told. The team has no plans to do so. The situation remains unresolved. https://t.co/1jWfnK36w4
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 9, 2023
Last season, Smith became an unrestricted free agent after the Packers released him from his contract. Let’s just say Smith wasn’t happy the Packers released him when looking back on last year. After a deal with the Baltimore Ravens fell through, Smith signed with the Vikings to a three-year, $42 million contract.
In 16 games last season, Smith recorded 44 combined tackles (32 solo, 12 tackle assisted), 24 quarterback hits, 15 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, five passes defensed and one forced fumble.
According to Spotrac, if the Vikings release Smith before June 1, they will save $12.16 million in cap space and eat $3.33 million off the cap in 2023. But if they wait after June 1, the Vikings will save $13.82 million in cap space in 2023. , handling $1.67 million in dead money in 2023 and 2024.
Smith asks to be released, but the Vikings don’t budge. That would be something worth keeping an eye out for this off-season.