The Minnesota Vikings desperately needed help on the defensive side of the ball heading into the offseason. In what felt like a rather slow start for the new regime, they certainly found a way to make a big splash in the second week of free agency.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported on Tuesday afternoon that former Packers OLB Za’Darius Smith agreed to terms with Minnesota. The pairing of Smith and Danielle Hunter should wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks in 2022 and beyond.
Smith missed the majority of 2021 with a back injury, but his previous two seasons in Green Bay were impressive. Throughout 2019 and 2020 he totaled 107 tackles, 26 sacks, five forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Not only will the addition of Smith help establish a legitimate pass rush for the Vikings, but it should also take pressure off a secondary that still needs a lot of help. The Vikings will be able to use draft capital on other positions of need now instead of looking at a pass rusher in round one.
It certainly looks as if Smith is excited to be chasing after quarterbacks with a purple jersey on, given his reference to the Purple People Eaters on Twitter. The addition gives the Vikings an elite pass rushing duo that will immediately strengthen the overall defensive unit in 2022.
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