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Report: Za'Darius Smith Agrees to 4-Year, $66 Million Packers Contract

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMarch 12, 2019

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JANUARY 06: Za'Darius Smith #90 of the Baltimore Ravens reacts after blocking a field goal against Mike Badgley #4 of the Los Angeles Chargers during the third quarter in the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at M&T Bank Stadium on January 06, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Edge-rusher Za'Darius Smith, who played the first four years of his career with the Baltimore Ravens, is reportedly set to sign with the Green Bay Packers, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

ESPN.com's Rob Demovsky confirmed Tuesday that Smith plans to sign with the Packers when the new league year begins Wednesday.

Rapoport added Smith's new deal is worth $66 million over four years, with $34.5 million to be paid out over the first two seasons. 

Smith is deservedly cashing in on a career year after amassing 25 quarterback hits and 8.5 sacks in 16 games.

Drafted in the fourth round in 2015, Smith saw his most playing time ever after starting just eight combined games in his first three years. In 2018, the former Kentucky Wildcat made eight starts and was the team's most productive pass-rusher.

The 6'4", 272-pound end, who turns 27 in September, was credited by Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com as playing with "laudable fury." Rosenthal also placed Smith at No. 21 on his list of the best available free agents from the class of 2019.

Smith should be a tremendous asset for the Packers in an era where offenses are more dominant than ever. Per Pro Football Reference, teams averaged 5.6 yards per play last season, an all-time high.

The Ravens may need to make a move, although the No. 2 scoring defense in football still has solid pass-rushers. Of note, Matt Judon and Patrick Onwuasor combined for 12.5 sacks.

Green Bay was in desperate need of a pass-rusher, especially with Clay Matthews hitting free agency. The Packers tied for 22nd in the NFL with 30 passing touchdowns allowed last season, but with Smith joining Kyler Fackrell, Green Bay should be far tougher against the pass in 2019.

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