A day after it was reported that outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith was going to reunite with the Baltimore Ravens, reports have been released that Smith will not be signing with the Ravens and he will remain a free agent.
Plot twist: Former #Packers pass-rusher Za'Darius Smith is not signing his deal with the #Ravens after all, sources say. He remains a free agent.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 17, 2022
Many were exciting about the prospect of the reunion, but ultimately, the Ravens now find themselves searching for a new pass rusher to pair with sophomore linebacker Odafe Oweh.
Possibly a reason for the change of heart has to do with the contracts given out to pass rushers Von Miller and Chandler Jones in the hours that followed Smith’s reported agreement. Von Miller was signed to a six-year, $120 million deal at 32-years old. Jones received $17 million per year with the Las Vegas Raiders.
According to The Baltimore Sun’s Jonas Shaffer, after agreeing to a contract with the Ravens yesterday, Smith’s reps and the team were still negotiating his contracts average annual value (AAV).
There were reports after Za'Darius Smith agreed to a contract yesterday that the Ravens and Smith's reps were still negotiating his contract's AAV.— Jonas Shaffer (@jonas_shaffer) March 17, 2022
Around that time, Von Miller got $20M a year from the Bills, and Chandler Jones got over $17M a year from the Raiders.