Packers: Why restructuring Za’Darius Smith’s contract is a good move

Green Bay Packers, Za'Darius Smith (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Za'Darius Smith (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, OLB Za’Darius Smith has restructured his contract with the Green Bay Packers.

The move saves $7.38 million in cap space for Green Bay, which allowed them to re-sign RB Aaron Jones to a four-year, $48 million deal on Tuesday afternoon.

Here are a few reasons why this is a good move for the Packers.

Reason #1: It kills two birds with one stone

The move not only saved cap space for Green Bay but it also led to Aaron Jones getting re-signed. Both players are essential on each side of the ball. Offensively, Jones can be used as a runner, blocker, and pass catcher, his dynamic ability is one reason why his re-signing was a welcomed but unexpected one.

The Smith restructure also means that later on down the line, he is eligible for an extension. Smith had said early last week that he wants to remain in Green Bay. His restructure basically guarantees he will be, at least for now.

Reason #2: Smith’s restructure is very well done

Per ESPN’s Field Yates, Smith’s extension details break down as follows:

  • $5 million roster bonus converted into a signing bonus
  • $9.76 million of his 2021 base salary converted into a signing bonus

Smith’s cap number ($14.6 million), is set to go up in 2022 ($28.3 million), when he could be in line for an extension.

The Packers seem to be going all-in now, locking up a majority of their current roster, which isn’t a bad move at all, especially considering they want to continue to contend for a championship in the coming years.

Reason #3: Smith’s production on defense makes his restructure that much more team-oriented

Za’Darius Smith, in two years with Green Bay, has amassed 26 sacks, five forced fumbles, 29 TFLs, and 60 QB hits. He can line up on the edge or inside and no matter where he does line up, he’s going to give 100 percent effort every snap.

This makes his restructure that much more team-oriented. He sacrificed part of his salary as a player in order to keep a majority of Green Bay’s current roster intact — which speaks volumes of him as a person and player.

Smith cares more about team success than money-making, which is a huge reason why Green Bay’s overall team looks to remain intact for the 2021 season and beyond.