Jan 22, 2022; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith (55) celebrates after sacking San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (not pictured) in the first quarter during a NFC Divisional playoff football game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Za’Darius Smith made headlines last week when he initially agreed to sign with the Baltimore Ravens before backing out of the deal. Now, the former Green Bay Packer is staying nearby and signing with an NFC North rival instead.

Smith and the Minnesota Vikings agreed to a three-year, $42 million deal worth up to $47 million on Tuesday. This comes after the linebacker spurned the Ravens’ four-year, $35 million offer. Clearly, he knew there was more money out there and he was right.

It’s a hefty raise for the two-time Pro Bowler, who was making $8.75 million a year with the Packers before bolting for free agency. He also gets to play Green Bay twice a year to let them know what he thinks of them letting him go.

While Smith missed much of the 2021 NFL season due to a back injury, he did return in time for Green Bay’s playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers. In his two previous Pro Bowl seasons, he recorded 13.5 and 12.5 sacks, respectively. Smith spent four seasons with the Ravens prior to his time in Green Bay. Za’Darius was drafted by Baltimore in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL Draft.

The news of Smith signing with the Vikings certainly got a lot of NFL people talking on social media.

As if games between the Packers and Vikings needed any further dramatic storylines…

[Minnesota Vikings]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.