Details emerge surrounding failed deal between Ravens and OLB Za’Darius Smith

After signing safety Marcus Williams and offensive tackle Morgan Moses during the second day of 2022 free agency, the Baltimore Ravens apparently made another big splash the day after, as it reported that the team and former Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith had agreed on a four-year, $35 million deal that would be worth up to $50 millon. However, Smith then backed out of the deal the next day, sending Baltimore back to the drawing board.

Many have wondered why a reunion between the Ravens and Smith ended up not working out after things appeared to be at the finish line. Details have emerged about the situation and what led to Smith getting cold feet. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk revealed that the outside linebacker and Baltimore had struck a deal on two separate occasions, only for Smith and his agent to come back to the team a third time with a new contract proposal, to which the Ravens passed on. Florio detailed what happened after the first deal was agreed upon.

“…Smith and his agent then proposed a different deal to the Ravens. The Ravens accepted the revised terms. They were then told that Smith would make a decision the next day…The next day, Smith and his agent proposed a dramatically different deal. The Ravens passed, and that was that.”

Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network relayed that one of the reasons why the deal fell apart was due to Von Miller and Chandler Jones signing lucrative contracts with the Buffalo Bills and Las Vegas Raiders, respectively.

“The deal then fell apart after Von Miller (six years, $120 million) and Chandler Jones (three years, $51 million) signed bigger free agency contracts. That is believed to be a factor in Smith’s decision to not rejoin the Ravens, per league sources.”

In a matter of hours, Baltimore went from having a premier No. 1 pass rushing option to having to look for other options. At the moment Smith still has yet to sign, but once he does it wouldn’t be shocking to see him asked plenty of questions about his deal that never was with the Ravens in his first media appearance.