After the Green Bay Packers stayed quiet through the first day of the NFL’s contract negotiation window, the team has pounced on multiple free agents on Tuesday. The latest move further invigorates a pass rush that had gone dormant near the end of last season.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Packers will sign former Washington outside linebacker Preston Smith to a four-year, $52 million contract, joining Za’Darius Smith and Adrian Amos as the Packers’ big-ticket items of the offseason. In addition to the full years and total value of Smith’s deal, the pass rusher will earn $16 million at signing and $27.5 million over the first two years of the contract.
The Packers ostensibly signed Smith to get after the quarterback, though he never put up huge sack totals during his time in D.C. In four seasons, he topped out at eight sacks and registered just 24.5 combined. Still, Smith has proven more productive when considering QB hits and hurries as well, delivering a career-high 57 total pressures in 2018. That mark would have ranked first on the Packers last season.
With two new edge rushers and a safety all but officially under contract, the Packers can turn their attention to their offense which still needs help along the offensive line, in the receiving corps, and perhaps running back.