Jacksonville Jaguars bolster their pass-rush with Za'Darius Smith: 3 trade proposals
NFL players often wish a farewell to the city and fans of the teams they previously played for, so there seemingly wasn't anything out of the ordinary when outside linebacker Za'Darius Smith said goodbye in early March after spending the 2022 season with the Minnesota Vikings. However, it turned out that he was still under contract and the Vikes didn't plan to grant him his release. Even though Smith has two years left on his current deal and is expected to remain in Minnesota, the Jacksonville Jaguars should work the phones and ask about his availability.
Although the Jags have a solid pair of bookend pass rushers in Josh Allen and Travon Walker, they need to replace defensive end Arden Key, who signed with the Tennessee Titans in free agency. Smith signed with the Vikings last offseason after backing out of an agreement to return to the Baltimore Ravens, the team that made him a fourth-round draft pick in 2015. All things considered, he had a solid first season in Minnesota, logging 10 sacks, 44 total tackles, and one forced fumble.
After four seasons in Baltimore, Smith joined the Green Bay Packers in 2019 and managed to log a combined 26 sacks and five forced fumbles in his first two seasons. However, a back injury forced him to miss most of the 2021 season. The former Kentucky Wildcat showed last year that he's healthy and if the Jaguars want to bolster their pass rush, here are three proposals they can make to the Vikings.
Jacksonville Jaguars trade No. 3 for OLB Za'Darius Smith: A draft pick
It isn't uncommon for teams to swap players as part of a trade but the easiest way to land Za'Darius Smith would be to offer Minnesota a draft pick. Even though the veteran pass rusher logged 10 sacks last year and has two Pro Bowl designations to his name, his value doesn't seem to be particularly high, so a fourth-round pick could get a deal done.
To sweeten the deal, the Jags could offer a conditional late-round selection next year if Smith hits a few milestones. They currently have two fourth-round selections, they got an extra one last year from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for two late-round picks, so they wouldn't probably mind parting ways with one if that means a boost to their pass rush.