The second-round draft choice from Notre Dame struggled to hold onto a job this season when the Dallas Cowboys released him after four games.
The Green Bay Packers saved him, but the partnership did not last long.
Jaylon Smith’s career highlights as a Green Bay Packer: pic.twitter.com/xu9yYjzGOp
— Zack 🧀 (@Showtyme_GB) November 2, 2021
It’s an unfortunate end for the 2021 season of a player who showed much promise during his first four seasons in Dallas.
The franchise believed that he could be a fixture on their defense that they gave him a five-year, $64 million contract in 2019.
Dallas still owes him $6.8 million next season, which is far from what he could have earned throughout that deal.
It’s consolation money for the 516 tackles, nine sacks, and two interceptions in 68 games with the Cowboys.
With Smith becoming a free agent, here are teams that can help revive his career by giving him another opportunity.
3. Seattle Seahawks
Seattle’s defensive woes continue as they give up 401.5 yards per game, the second-worst in the NFL.
If they wish to reach the playoffs, such a number won’t help them survive the NFC West gauntlet.
Seahawks red zone defense… is it sustainable? Who knows? But it's working right now.
31 opposition trips to Seattle's RZ but only 15 TDs. The 48.4% conversion rate is 6th best in the NFL.
— Field Gulls (@FieldGulls) November 2, 2021
Smith will find comfort in Seattle’s 4-3 defense, but he must move positions if he wants more playing time.
Having a linebacker corps of Smith and Wagner plus Carlos Dunlap up front can inject some improvement to their defense.
Likewise, signing Smith wouldn’t hurt the Seahawks’ salary cap, given their $13.38 million cap space.
2. Philadelphia Eagles
How poetic would it be if Smith ended up with the Cowboys’ NFC East rivals?
But beyond the drama, the Philadelphia Eagles can use the upgrade by adding the 2019 Pro Bowler.
For some reason, the team does not put linebackers in high regard so much so that they last drafted a linebacker in the first round back in 1979.
Their linebacker depth chart also went shallower after releasing Eric Wilson.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) October 31, 2021
Smith can come in and compete for a spot against any of those players.
The salary cap won’t be a concern as well because the Eagles have roughly $20 million in space.
Personally, Smith would like this scenario to happen to exact revenge against the team that released him.
1. Kansas City Chiefs
Even after adding Melvin Ingram before the trade deadline, the Chiefs still need much help to elevate their pass rush.
Nick Bolton is 12th in the NFL in tackles (66), 4th in the NFL in Tackles For Loss (9), has 10th Best PFF Run Defense Grade among LBs (70.5), and has only missed 2 tackles all season. (2.9%)
Run. Stopper. pic.twitter.com/bVF43dfI1g
— J (@ChiefsJackson) November 2, 2021
Kansas City’s defense is terrible that adding Smith is already a significant boost.
Upgrading their defense will be a step toward being legitimate Super Bowl contenders once again.
They may only have $3.3 million in cap space, but that’s enough to accommodate Smith.
After all, he signed with the Packers for $990,000.