NFL rumors: Vikings trade Pro Bowler Za'Darius Smith to Browns
Report: Vikings trade Pro Bowler Za'Darius Smith to Browns originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Za'Darius Smith is heading back to the AFC North.
The Minnesota Vikings are trading Smith to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for 2024 and 2025 fifth-round picks, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport reported on Friday night. Cleveland is also acquiring 2025 sixth- and seventh-round selections from Minnesota in the deal.
Smith reportedly agreed to restructure his contract as well. He's now guaranteed $11.75 million in 2023 and will hit free agency in 2024, according to NFL Network.
Smith's time in Minnesota comes to an end one year after he joined the Vikings on a three-year, $42 million in free agency. In his return from season-ending back surgery, Smith tallied 10 sacks, 15 tackles for loss, 24 QB hits and 37 pressures over 16 games in 2022. He also earned the third Pro Bowl nod of his career.
Smith, who turns 31 in September, spent the first four seasons of his career in the AFC North with the Baltimore Ravens. He signed with the Packers in 2019 and was a Pro Bowler in his first two of three seasons in Green Bay.
The addition of Smith gives the Browns arguably the league's best pass-rushing duo off the edge. Four-time Pro Bowler Myles Garrett is coming off consecutive 16-sack seasons.
The Bears will pay Smith, Garrett and the Browns a visit in Week 15 of the 2023 season.