Green Bay Packers close in on signing Dallas Cowboys castoff LB Jaylon Smith

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First, Stephon Gilmore was on and off the market in a blink. Hours later, it appears linebacker Jaylon Smith will also no longer be looking for a suitor.

The linebacker who was cut by the Dallas Cowboys is nearing a deal with the Green Bay Packers, Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday.

Smith was released by the Cowboys earlier this week as his production had fallen off for Dallas.

Per ESPN:

The Cowboys’ decision to release Smith can be viewed as a surprise because of what he was — a 100-plus-tackle-a-year linebacker with a Pro Bowl on his résumé and a contract that averaged $11.4 million a year — not what he is now, which is a backup linebacker who doesn’t run as well as he used to and struggles in coverage.

After he sat out his rookie season, he played in 68 straight games. He put in the work that made him a Pro Bowl pick in 2019. The Cowboys signed him to a massive contract extension before that season, guaranteeing him $35.5 million.

Green Bay was expected to be in on the bidding for Gilmore, who went from New England to Carolina for a sixth-round pick in 2023. The Packers are hurting at DB after the shoulder injury to Jaire Alexander in Sunday’s win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Linebacker has also been a troubled spot for the NFC North champs.

Smith would not face his former team should the deal with Green Bay go through … unless the Packers and Cowboys meet in the postseason.