Full Details Emerge from the Za’Darius Smith Trade

Questions Answered: Za'Darius' Role
Oct 2, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Za'Darius Smith (55) celebrate victory at the end of the second half of the NFL International Series game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports

Last Friday evening, the Minnesota Vikings announced that they had traded pass-rusher Za’Darius Smith to the Cleveland Browns. In addition to Smith, the Browns received sixth and seventh round picks in the 2025 Draft while Minnesota got a pair of fifth-rounders coming in 2024 and 2025.

In the aftermath of the trade, a report surfaced that Smith’s contract had been reworked, allowing him to have more guaranteed money in 2023 while also granting him the ability to enter free agency once again next offseason.

Za'Darius Smith Trade
Aug 20, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Za’Darius Smith. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

In addition to the picks that Minnesota sent to Cleveland, the Vikings would be taking on a portion of Smith’s contract this year, but until now, it had been unclear as to how much that would be.

New Za’Darius Smith Trade Details

However, Field Yates of ESPN reported on Tuesday regarding the full details of this trade and how much money the Vikings would take on. His report suggests the Vikings will take on $1.177 million in the form of signing bonus.

If this is all Minnesota will take on from Smith’s new contract, the Vikings will save around $11 million of the potential $12.1 million that they could have saved by trading the soon-to-be 31-year-old.

4 Potential Trade Partners for Vikings EDGE Za'Darius Smith
Dec 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Za’Darius Smith (55) warms up before the game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Smith will be reunited with Dalvin Tomlinson, who left the Vikings in free agency back in March, signing a four-year, $57 million contract with Cleveland. It also means that the Browns have a truly fearsome pass-rushing duo in Smith and Myles Garrett. Garrett has recorded 10+ sacks in each of the past five seasons, including 16 in both 2021 and 2022.

In Minnesota, the door has officially opened for Marcus Davenport to take over as a starter opposite of Danielle Hunter.

This is a massive year for the former Saint pass rusher, who recorded just half a sack in 2022 after showing promising signs of production during 2021. In that season, he recorded 9.0 sacks despite playing only 11 games.

In his sole season with the Vikings, Smith recorded 10 sacks.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.