Vikings sign Za'Darius Smith to 3-year contract after failed Ravens deal

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It was just five days ago that pass rusher Za'Darius Smith backed out of a deal with the Baltimore Ravens, but now he's got a new team to call home.

The Minnesota Vikings announced on Tuesday that they've signed Smith to a three-year contract.

According to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, the deal has a base pay of $42 million and could be worth up to $47 million with incentives.

Smith was released by the Green Bay Packers last week, and soon found work with the Ravens — or so we thought. A day after it was reported that the Ravens were signing Smith to a four-year, $35 million contract that could have been worth up to $50 million with incentives, he backed out of the deal.

The reason Smith reneged on the Ravens isn't officially known, but according to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk, the big contracts Von Miller and Chandler Jones recently signed influenced his decision to back out and propose a new deal to the Ravens. The Ravens reportedly passed on that, and Smith continued looking for a new team.

He found that in the Vikings — and he got more money, too. Instead of getting $35 million over four years, he's taking $42 million over three years, and that's a huge difference. With the Ravens, his yearly pay would have been $8.75 million. With the Vikings, it'll be $14 million.

Smith, 29, had two great seasons in Green Bay before 2021 came along, tallying 26 sacks. He dealt with a back injury for the vast majority of 2021, playing in just one regular season game before returning for the Packers' single postseason game.

It's a smooth move for Minnesota to bring in Smith, who has caused them all sorts of problems on the field when he was a member of the Packers. Now he can do that to the Packers instead of for them.

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 16: Za'Darius Smith #55 of the Green Bay Packers celebrates defeating the Los Angeles Rams 32-18 in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at Lambeau Field on January 16, 2021 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Za'Darius Smith is probably pretty happy about joining the Vikings on a three-year, $42 million deal. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)