The agreement is for three years and is worth $42 million with a maximum value of $47 million.
— NFL (@NFL) March 22, 2022
It is a better deal than the one he backed out of with the Baltimore Ravens.
Their contract was worth $35 million for four years, which had a maximum value of $50 million.
The agreement with the Vikings also allows him to get revenge on the team that cut him, the Packers.
Revenge Is A Dish Best Served Cold
Smith has a motivation unlike others in the NFL.
When the Pro Bowl voting didn’t have him included in the players selected, he sent a message back to those people.
He had unique T-shirts made with his picture and the word “snubbed” on them.
— Lily Zhao (@LilySZhao) January 17, 2020
He would wear a shirt under his jersey with that word snubbed and flash it every time he got a sack.
#Packers LB Za'Darius Smith after a sack.
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) January 12, 2020
It was his message to everyone that overlooked him in that Pro Bowl voting.
Now the Packers have snubbed him after giving his best career performances with the team.
The move to Minnesota gives Smith two chances of revenge against the Packers.
He also got some cold hard cash from the Vikings to go out and carry out his revenge.
The Vikings spent their money well when they signed Smith.
Smith Bet On His Talent
Smith is a force on the defense that no team wants to face.
He had five forced fumbles, 26 sacks, and 108 combined tackles in the two full playing years with the Packers.
For an edge-rushing linebacker, those numbers are excellent.
Comparing him to a counterpart like Khalil Mack, Smith outshines him.
For the two years Smith played for the Packers, he had numbers better than Mack during the same period.
Smith had seven more solo tackles, 33 more quarterback hits, 8.5 more sacks, and ten more tackles for loss than Mack.
He knew what he was worth and was wise to pull out of his deal with the Ravens to get paid what he was worth.
Will Smith Return To Top Form After Recovering From His Back Injury?
While Smith bet on himself, the Packers chose not to possibly for two reasons.
They needed to get under the cap for 2022, and they saw Smith miss 2021 due to a back injury.
Returning from any injury can be hit or miss in the NFL.
But Smith’s injury was delicate because it involved his back and the need for surgery on his back.
Some NFL players never recover from injuries like that.
That could have been a deciding factor for the Packers letting him go.
However, the Vikings are willing to bet on Smith.
It will be interesting how Smith plays coming off the surgery he had.
If he can show that he can still play at the level he did with the Packers; then the NFC North will be in some trouble.
But the game Vikings fans will look forward to is the game they hope to see Smith reintroduce himself to Aaron Rodgers.