The Cowboys released linebacker Jaylon Smith on Wednesday, and he soon could have a new home.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports the Packers are “the likely landing spot” for Smith. The sides are finalizing details on a contract for Smith, per Rapoport.
The Cowboys owe Smith the remainder of his $7.2 million base salary this year. They cut him because of his reduced role and the risk of a season-ending injury with his contract guaranteed for injury-only in 2022. He was scheduled to make $9.2 million in base salary and count $11.8 million against the salary cap next season.
He now will cost the Cowboys $6.8 million in dead money against their 2022 cap.
Smith signed a five-year, $64 million extension in August 2019.
Smith played 56 percent of the defensive snaps this season, including 40 percent or fewer in two of four games.
“Really this wasn’t an easy decision,” Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday, via Todd Archer of ESPN. “He’s a good football player. He’s played excellent football here for a long time, but we have a [defensive] system, I think it’s clear now after four games how we’re playing.”