It’s the Age of Za’Darius in Green Bay
We all knew the talk coming out of Green Bay all offseason – ‘Green Bay needs EDGE rushers.’ People shouted it from the mountain tops. When EDGE rushers were being shuffled off the table, either through franchise tag or the first day of free agency, some wondered if the NFL Draft would be the place for Packers EDGE rushers. Not so fast, my little friend. Packers add Za’Darius Smith from the Baltimore Ravens. Smith is a weak side EDGE rusher that brings the heat and will help rebuild the pass rush in Green Bay.
The #Packers are expected to bring in a huge addition, bringing in former #Ravens edge rusher Za'Darius Smith, sources say. They tried to trade for him a few years ago, are in prime position to sign him now.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 12, 2019
Smith’s deal is worth 66 million dollars over the next four years. He will get most of that money upfront with 34.5 million in the fist two years. Yes, that’s a lot of money, but it’s the going rate for EDGE rushers in the National Football League. They’re not a position where teams are cheap unless they’ve drafted really well. Green Bay has not besides a one-year emergence of Kyler Fackrell. Smith will help the team in a major way.
He loves to pressure to the quarterback. Loves it. He might not get a sack every time he lines up, but Za’Darius is going to make damn sure you know he’s there. Smith is a mountain of a man checking in at 6’4, 274 lbs. That’s a beasty linebacker without question. He brings a great versatility to this pass rush as well. You can line Smith inside and still get an interior pass rush from him. He also is very strong against the run which was something Nick Perry and Clay Matthews struggled with from time to time.
With the addition of Milt Hendrickson to Green Bay’s front office, you have to believe he drove the idea of bringing Smith into the mix. The former Ravens assistant general manager was a scout when Smith came to Baltimore in the NFL Draft.