Packers pass rusher Za'Darius Smith raised eyebrows on Friday when he tweeted, “I need a realtor in GreenBay ASAP!!” And while within 35 minutes he downplayed the tweet as a reference to looking for a new house in the Green Bay area, some in league circles believe something is up.
As one league source explained it to PFT, Smith is believed to be unhappy about the team exercising the automatic conversion option in his contract, converting a large chunk of 2021 salary to a guaranteed payment and, in turn, pushing his 2022 cap number north of $28 million. He knows that, come next year, the magnitude of the cap charge for keeping him around means he’ll likely be cut or traded.
Smith, per the source, didn’t realize the import of the automatic conversion language. Also, he’s believed to be not happy that the Packers didn’t pay out the 2021 guarantee ($14.76 million) in March. By letter of the agreement, the Packers will make the payments in weekly chunks during the season, resulting in Smith getting no net benefit from the move. Instead, the restructuring hurts him because it makes his cap number in 2022 too high for the team to carry.
It’s not an issue if he signs an extension before next March. Currently, that’s not expected to happen. Smith previously displayed his displeasure by making an agent change. And it’s believed that, like quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Smith wants security or he wants out.
Maybe, unlike Rodgers, Smith will make his actual desires be known, sooner than later.