Their situations aren't really the same, but with the Packers getting rid of Za'Darius Smith after he crossed the age of 30, you can't help but wonder if Preston Smith's fate is about to be the same.
Now, Za'Darius Smith's situation was very different in the fact that he missed all but one game before the Packers let him go in the 2022 offseason. The Packers had a clear path to getting out of the contract with Smith due to injury, and they took it. The main difference here is that Preston Smith is playing quite well this season.
The veteran and former second-round pick came close to matching his career-high of 23 QB hits. He finished with 21. Smith also had a really solid 8.0 sacks and 23 QB pressures (per Pro Football Reference).
But Smith is going to be 32 next season. The Packers could save more than $12 million in salary cap space by cutting or trading him after June 1 in the offseason. I don't think they're going to take every single bit of cap savings they can find, but GM Brian Gutekunst did plan for this with the drafting of Lukas Van Ness in 2023.
Although Preston Smith has largely been underrated and over-criticized, he's been a great player overall for the Packers. His time in Green Bay could be up this offseason.