Edge rusher Za'Darius Smith signed a three-year deal with the Vikings last year, but he’s reportedly hoping to move on after just one season in Minnesota.
Smith tweeted a thank you message “to Skol Nation for an amazing season & experience” in 2022, which looked like it might be a response to the Vikings releasing him in order to clear cap space. Releasing Smith would free up over $12.1 million.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, however, Smith’s release is just wishful thinking at this point. Rapoport reports that Smith told the team he wants to be released and that the Vikings have rebuffed that request for the time being.
Smith initially agreed to a deal with the Ravens last year, but wound up signing with the Vikings after backing out of that agreement. He had 44 tackles, 10 sacks, 24 quarterback hits, and a forced fumble in 16 starts.
The Vikings have already released linebacker Eric Kendricks, wide receiver Adam Thielen could be headed out the door, and other veterans could be on their way out, so things will look different in Minnesota whether the Vikings give Smith what they want or not.