Za'Darius Smith had 9.5 sacks in the first nine games of the Vikings season in 2022, but his productivity dropped in the second half of the year.
Smith was a regular on the injury report because of a knee injury and had just a half-sack in his final eight appearances. Smith is now a member of the Browns after being traded a couple of weeks ago and he addressed the state of his knee during a media session on Wednesday.
Smith said he’s feeling well, largely because he’s been able to get rest he couldn’t get during the season.
“I couldn’t rest last year because every game I think I was making like $200,000 just to dress out,” Smith said, via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. “You would dress out too . . . That was different for me. I had a chance to rest my knee, get some rehab. I trained with my trainer in Orlando and I’ve been out here working and I haven’t felt nothing. I feel perfectly fine.”
The Browns sent a pair of fifth-round picks to the Vikings for Smith and that will likely be viewed as a small price to pay if Smith stays healthy and productive for them this year.