A big trade just went through in the National Football League. The Minnesota Vikings agreed to trade Pro Bowl pass-rusher Za’Darius Smith to the Cleveland Browns.
The Browns will receive Smith and two draft picks in 2025 from the sixth and seventh rounds. In return, the Browns won’t send a player to the Vikings but Minnesota will instead receive two draft picks in 2024 from the fifth round.
Tom Pelissero first reported the deal along with Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
“The Vikings are trading three-time Pro Bowl pass rusher Za’Darius Smith to the #Browns,” Pelissero tweeted.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) May 12, 2023
Smith was owed nearly $12 million this season, which may be a reason why the team let him go. They found a trade partner and instead of waiting until after June 1, they sent him to Cleveland and received fair compensation in return.
In his career, Za’Darius Smith has recorded 54.5 sacks and 271 total tackles. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 2019, 2020, and in 2022 when he had 10 sacks with the Vikings. He’s hit double-digit sacks three times in the last four seasons.
He will join a Cleveland pass rush that lost Jadeveon Clowney in the off-season. But him paired with Myles Garrett could create some serious havoc up front for teams to deal with.
The NFL world had plenty to say about the huge Friday night trade.
Za'Darius Smith had 10 sacks last year.
Myles Garrett had 16 sacks last year.
CLEVELAND WILL EAT pic.twitter.com/ZtD8RlBKoj
— Nick Karns (@karnsies817) May 12, 2023
— Matt Wilson (@CoachWilson66) May 12, 2023
— MLFootball (@_MLFootball) May 12, 2023
#DawgPound Za’Darius Smith in 2022 among qualifying edge rushers:
• 6th in pass-rush win rate (21.8%)
• 9th in pass-rush grade (85.4)
• 14th in pass-rush productivity (9.0)
HUGE addition opposite Myles Garrett. What a Friday evening surprise.
— Cody Suek (@CodySuek) May 12, 2023