Report: Packers expecting to complete extension with OLB Za’Darius Smith

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Zach Kruse
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A new deal for running back Aaron Jones will also include a new deal for outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith.

According to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Packers are expecting to complete a contract extension with Smith in the next few days, and the new deal will lower his cap hit in 2021 to help absorb the new deal for Jones.

Smith, a Pro Bowler each of his first two seasons in Green Bay, has two years left on his four-year deal. His cap hit in 2021 is $22 million, but adding more years to his deal could substantially lower his number this year.

In fact, according to Over the Cap, working out an extension with Smith could create as much as $12.4 million in savings on the 2021 salary cap.

The Packers have completed a number of moves to fix their cap situation, including contract restructures for safety Adrian Amos, outside linebacker Preston Smith and offensive lineman Billy Turner. An extension for Za’Darius Smith will give the Packers enough cap flexibility to get the Jones deal done before the start of the new league year on Wednesday.

Smith was active on his social media accounts this past week talking about his desire to be a “Packer for life,” suggesting an extension was coming. Smith’s current deal is good through the 2022 season.

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