NFL Insider Tom Pelissero reported on Friday that the Minnesota Vikings have traded edge rusher Za’Darius Smith to the Cleveland Browns. Smith and his agent reworked his contract to where he will receive $11.75 million guaranteed in 2023 and will be a free agent next offseason.
A three-time Pro Bowler and former All-Pro selection, Smith signed with the Vikings last year and maintained his status as one of the most productive pass rushers in the NFL. Starting 16 games, he came away with 44 tackles, 24 QB hits, and 10 sacks. Speculation began immediately after the season that his time in Minnesota could be short lived and now he is on the move.
Smith will now head to a Browns defensive front that already has multi-time All Pro Myles Garrett. Despite his presence, the Browns still ranked near the bottom of the league by averaging just two sacks per game. Now they have some reinforcement in a division where they’ll try to wrangle Lamar Jackson and Joe Burrow.