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Packers join free agency fray with Za'Darius Smith addition

After spending the first day of the legal tampering period on the sidelines, the Packers entered the free agency fray by agreeing to terms with edge rusher Za'Darius Smith.

According to Pro Football Focus, Smith’s 60 total pressures were the 17th most among edge defenders in the NFL in 2018. He finished with the 16th best pass-rushing grade.

PFF also ranked Smith as the 32nd-best free agent available this offseason.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (47) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Bearmeat's picture

This is VERY exciting. Can't wait to see the contract details!

stockholder's picture

Smith= seeing 16 mil. a year.

Old School's picture

ZSmith….has been available for 58 out of 64 possible games, and that's about 90%, and that's well above average. He got 8.5 sacks last year, which is slightly better than .5 sacks/game; for his career, he's about .35 sacks/game.

He's a big guy, listed at over 270 (and he's listed as a DE). He's young and could have some good years ahead of him. estimates him at about $9 million/year. reports we got Preston Smith, too!. He's listed. 4 years at $13 mill/year.

If true, then Perry will be cut/traded. Those would be starters in rotation with Fackrell.

Coldworld's picture

Fackrell is not a starter, he is a situational rusher with some coverage plus. We will need a backup starter if you like plus Fackrell.

The TKstinator's picture

What is a “backup starter”?

White92's picture

"ZSmith….has been available for 58 out of 64 possible games, and that's about 90%, "

The Anti-Perry!

Nick Perry's picture

I don't have PFF but IIRC you should check out the number of actual snaps Z Smith plays. I understand you have a "Formula" which breaks down sacks per game BUT I believe Smith was playing on limited snaps per game. When you combine his hurries, hits, and sacks vs a guy like Perry it's not even close IIRC. THIS guy is a pass rusher who is pretty damn disruptive.

I found this on CBS Sports under player rankings about Z Smith.

PFF credited Smith with 10 sacks, 17 QB hits and 33 hurries in the regular season, which is monster production for someone with 690 snaps.

packerbackerjim's picture

This is a great move by Gute. Amos is another purported signing!

The TKstinator's picture

Purports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.

Guam's picture

I would like to know what the contract is, but my gut reaction is YES!!!!

ShooterMcGee's picture

2 great signings at this moment. Check back in 3 years.

holmesmd's picture

I sure hope they sign Breeland soon!

Dragon5's picture

7 Life path=injury prone

MikeDV34's picture

You're fun!!!

stockholder's picture

I'll take Smith and Amos, before Breeland any day.

Dzehren's picture

Should we cut Tramon and use the $$ to sign Breeland? Or sign Aaron Lynch OLB as a rotational piece?

Guam's picture

If these two signings are in the range rumored before free agency started, we likely don't have enough remaining space to sign Breeland which is too bad because I agree, he would be a good addition.

D Ernie's picture

Unless they dump williams, perry and someone else to clear room.

holmesmd's picture

If they move on from Clay, Perry, and Cobb...( also House & Williams?) they may have enough room to sign BB. I think he’s one of the better CB’s talent wise in the league and graded out equal to Josh Norman last year for the half season he played. It would be an error not to retain him IMO.

Guam's picture

These two signings also impact our draft strategy significantly. I still believe we need another edge rusher, but it doesn't have to be at #12 now. This allows the Packers to take BPA or trade down if some team makes a great offer for the 12 spot.

crayzpackfan's picture

I agree. Maybe they’ll go OL or TE at 12 now. At least us cheeseheads have something interesting to ponder pre draft for a change. Good stuff.

TheLegendary52's picture

Would love to see Lynch as a bargain signing!

TheLegendary52's picture

Sorry, wrong spot... intended for the comment below

D Ernie's picture

I dont think these are lights out te. One may he there at 30.

OnWisconsinGoPack's picture

Respectfully disagree. Edge rusher drop off is huge after mid-teens, I think we still take Burns at 12 if available and I still think a Safety should be a target within first 3 rounds. Depending on grade, I could see Oline and te as our pick at 30 and 44.

I think it would take a Houston or Preston Smith signing from a draft change in my opinion

dobber's picture

I think this gives them the option to draft a projectable HWS rusher, though, rather than a high-end guy. I agree: they need players for the rotation.

Dzehren's picture

Boom! Amos and ZaDarious! 2 huge holes filled. A good under the radar signing could be Aaron Lynch OLB - good rotational depth piece. Lynch is 6-6 & 270 LBS & only 25 years old

RCPackerFan's picture

This is honestly who I thought they were going to go after. With Hendrickson joining the front office, I felt that Smith was a guy they would go after.
Also the Packers liked him before trying to trade for him before.

IMO, this is a really good move!

dobber's picture

I agree in that I think Hendrickson likely played a role in their decision to go after Smith.

TheLegendary52's picture

Smith is an awesome player! He has been overshadowed by other big names on the Ravens roster. He is a hard working lunch pail kind of player, who will fit perfectly in Pettine's defense. I only wish that Gutey had made the trade for Osemele instead of the Jets. He was acquired for peanuts! Loving the Amos signing as well!

Handsback's picture

After all the talk about what Pettine wanted in an edge guy...Smith fit that bill to the letter. Amos is also going to be a positive impact. Now an under the radar TE like Swaim. They will upgrade that roster.

Coldworld's picture

Still think we need another safety during FA, we now have one true safety plus Williams, Greene and some guys like Jones that have no business playing deep. Rookies tend to struggle mightily at that. A FA guard (under 30) later might be nice. Then draft picks get to challenge more than a vacuum.

Handsback's picture

This is crazy thinking....but wonder if the other Smith is a target? They want fresh rushers, will Fac-man, Smith, Gilbert, Donnerson do the job if CMIII and Perry are cut? Another Smith signing and it may be the end of Perry and Claymaker.

D Ernie's picture

Not a bpa guy unless the position your at isnt offering anyone you need.
With these two acquisitions, there should be two pissible hof linebackers available.
12 is too high for te, possiby another edge, then were good for te, ol running back.

carlos's picture

The sun is shining in the UP and the Packers are signing. An exciting day. Shoring up the defense. Still winter and I can’t wait for the season.

stockholder's picture

Seeing Preston Smith to Packers. RotoWorld. Awesome!!

Coach JV's picture

Word is we just got Preston Smith too... I'm digging it!

Both Smith's plus Amos... I hope we have enough to sign Breeland. Our D will be dominant!

Cubbygold's picture

This is crazy. Gut reaction is I hope they didn't pay too much and that this defense is legit

Cheesey51's picture

finally!!!! A legitimate edge rusher!!! and getting the safety from the Bears. Oh,Man.BG is definitely no TT.GoPackGo!! Keep going BG and his head assistant the former Ravens guy. Get us OG Saint from from Titans and Ingram from NO

OnWisconsinGoPack's picture

Wow! Pack to sign Preston Smith too!

ShooterMcGee's picture

Does 2 OLBs mean that we could go OLine or Dline at 12? D-lineman Ed Oliver or Wilkins from Clemson might be available or OT Jonah Williams. This certainly gives us much more flexibility with our picks.

dobber's picture

A lot of latitude to look at OL and other positions (in general) now.

Since '61's picture

This is good news. To me this means that Perry will be chucked! Go Gute Go! Thanks, Since '61

Demon's picture

Finally a GM that doesnt solely pick from the scrap heap. Go Gute!

SterlingSharpe's picture

Bonus: Nick Perry no longer inactive for the Packers with a muscle strain of some kind!

KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

Hail to Gutey!!!!!!!!!

HankScorpio's picture

Both Smiths got big numbers on their deals. That's the price that must be paid to get edge rushers in free agency. The choices were to hope the draft solved the problem or pay the price. I'm glad they addressed it before the draft in case the board falls the wrong way for edge when the Packers are on the clock.

I'm ok with it since both are young. They may not be ascending anyone but the chances they are already in decline are minimal. I'd still love to get Brian Burns at 12. I think he'll be gone by then. This means they won't have to force a reach for edge if that comes to be the situation.

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