Vikings sign Za’Darius Smith to form a terrifyingly dangerous pass rush duo

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) Za'Darius Smith
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) Za'Darius Smith /

On Tuesday, the Minnesota Vikings signed free-agent pass rusher Za’Darius Smith and they also reportedly restructured the contract of Danielle Hunter.

In what will likely go down as the first big free-agent signing of the Kwesi Adofo-Mensah era, the Minnesota Vikings agreed to a contract with former Green Bay Packers pass rusher Za’Darius Smith on Tuesday.

Smith reportedly landed a three-year deal from the Vikings worth up to $47 million with incentives according to NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero.

Minnesota’s new pass rusher only appeared in two games for the Packers last season, including the playoffs, due to a back injury. But with the reported contract the Vikings gave to Smith on Tuesday, the team is clearly confident that his back issues are a thing of the past.

Minnesota Vikings reportedly restructure contract of Danielle Hunter to sign Za’Darius Smith

In order for Minnesota to even be able to afford Smith, some pretty significant salary cap adjustments had to be made.

The Vikings were able to create enough cap space to sign the former Green Bay pass rusher by converting Danielle Hunter’s $18 million roster bonus into a signing bonus according to ESPN’s Field Yates.

That $18 million now becomes fully guaranteed for Hunter and this contract restructure is likely an indication that Minnesota is no longer looking to trade their veteran pass rusher.

With Smith signed and Hunter‘s contract reportedly restructured, the Vikings could have one of the scariest pass-rushing duos in the entire NFL. Back in 2019 (just two seasons ago), Smith and  Hunter combined for a total of 202 quarterback pressures according to PFF (that’s more than 12 per game).

If these two can perform next season at a level similar to how they played in 2019, then they are going to make life completely miserable for opposing offensive linemen and quarterbacks.

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