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Reports: Vikings trade edge rusher Za’Darius Smith to Browns

Oct 2, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Za'Darius Smith (55) celebrates after a sack in the first quarter against the New Orleans Saints during an NFL International Series game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns acquired edge rusher Za’Darius Smith from the Minnesota Vikings, several reports said Friday night.

The Vikings will receive fifth-round picks in the 2024 and 2025 drafts, while the Browns will also collect sixth- and seventh-rounders in 2025 from Minnesota.

A three-time Pro Bowl selection, the 30-year-old Smith spent one season with the Vikings and recorded 10 sacks among 44 total tackles. But he requested his release from the team in March and posted a goodbye of sorts to Vikings fans on social media. At the time, reports said Minnesota did not plan to honor his request.

Smith missed most of the 2021 season while playing for the Green Bay Packers due to a back injury. He played in one regular-season game before being placed on injured reserve, and he could not come back until the playoffs.

He then signed a three-year, $42 million contract with the division rival Vikings in March 2022. He received votes for the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award last season.

Across eight NFL seasons with the Baltimore Ravens (2015-18), Packers (2019-21) and Vikings, Smith has 54.5 sacks, 271 tackles, nine forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in 107 games (64 starts).

–Field Level Media

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