After Von Miller, Chandler Jones deals became public, Za’Darius Smith backed out of Ravens return

NFC Divisional Playoffs - San Francisco 49ers v Green Bay Packers
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Linebacker Za'Darius Smith had a four-year, $35 million deal with the Ravens, until he didn’t.

Many are still confused as to what happened between Smith and the Ravens. So we tried to figure out what transpired.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Smith and the Ravens had agreed on a contract per the basic terms (four years, $35 million), with incentives that would have pushed the total value to $50 million. Then, the player decided to back out.

This happened, coincidentally (or not), after Chandler Jones agreed to terms with the Raiders, and after Von Miller agreed to terms with the Bills.

Smith and his agent then proposed a different deal to the Ravens. The Ravens accepted the revised terms. They were then told that Smith would make a decision the next day.

The next day, Smith and his agent proposed a dramatically different deal. The Ravens passed, and that was that.

Many have assumed that Smith had something else in hand. He didn’t. He remains a free agent, with no obvious or apparent deals. And the money in free agency already is drying up.

It’ll be interesting to see whether Smith goes back to the Ravens at some point, seeking the deals away from which he walked. It also will be interesting to see whether the Ravens would put those deals back on the table.

17 responses to “After Von Miller, Chandler Jones deals became public, Za’Darius Smith backed out of Ravens return

  1. Why would anyone sign this guy to a multi year deal? He just sat out a year with a back injury and he is also a just a situational pass rusher. He is awful vs the run.

  2. Impact player when healthy, but Ravens looked at how much he played in 2021 and literally “backed” out of paying too much.

  3. 29-year-old coming off a one-tackle season that resulted in his release and he thinks he gets to call the shots. Agent needs to get through to his client on this one. Woof.

  4. Hmmmm….risky signing for any team for a player that played one game last year and is coming off of a back injury. Me thinks Z should have taken the money. Sometimes your first deal is your best deal.

  5. That was a silly move by Smith, his stat line for last season reads as such.
    1 Tackle (Solo)
    He is coming of back surgery, and needs to prove first that he is healthy and second that, and second he can still produce. While Jones and Miller were both hover around 10 sacks last season.

  6. “Good. The Packers were able to unload another player who thinks they’re more important than the team. Good riddance.”
    -Aaron Rodgers

  7. Smith is coming off back surgery and needs to understand that teams are going to shy away from giving him a contract matching Miller or Chandler. Good move by the Ravens to pass.

  8. This was a significantly risky proposition for Baltimore. They lucked out of a Reed-to-Houston like situation. Count your lucky stars and the money you still have in your wallet.

  9. Von Miller’s deal is structured so the Bills can save 10M in cap space in year four, and 20M in year 5. He’ll be 37 by that time.

    Z. Smith wants Von Miller money, but even Von Miller won’t be making Von Miller money.

  10. Maybe he though he could leverage against the Cowboys after the whole Randy Gregory thing.

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