Green Bay Packers restructure outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith

Jan 16, 2021; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Green Bay Packers linebacker Za’Darius Smith (55) against the Los Angeles Rams during the NFC Divisional Round at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers restructured the contract of edge rusher Za’Darius Smith to free up $7.38 million in cap space, ESPN and NFL Network reported Wednesday.

The team needed cap space in order to fit in the new deal they struck with running back Aaron Jones over the weekend.

The Packers converted Smith’s base salary of $9.76 million and his $5 million roster bonus into a signing bonus. Smith’s cap hit this season falls to under $15 million this season while he’ll count $28 million against the cap in 2022, per the reports. Smith will be a candidate for an extension next year.

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Smith, 28, made the Pro Bowl the past two seasons in Green Bay, racking up 26 sacks while starting every game for the Packers. He has 60 quarterback hits in two seasons in Green Bay.

He has 44.5 career sacks in 90 games (48 starts) with the Baltimore Ravens (2015-18) and Packers.

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–Field Level Media