Packers Re-Sign Preston Smith

At least one of the Packers’ pass-rushing tandem of Smiths will be staying in Green Bay. Preston Smith has signed a four-year, $52.5MM extension (Twitter link via NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport). The deal keeps him under contract for five years total, and he will earn $14MM in 2021. USA Today’s Josina Anderson adds that the contract could reach a maximum of $75MM and there are annual bonuses tied to sack totals (Twitter link). 

[RELATED: Packers Won’t Keep Za’Darius Smith At Current Price]

Smith, 29, was thought to be in line for a new contract as the Packers try to keep as much of their improved defense intact while retaining Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams. At an annual average of $13.125MM, this deal is also far more manageable than what Za’Darius Smith was scheduled to make. Between the new contract and shifting $3MM of his 2022 salary into a roster bonus, the Packers will lower his cap hit by $7.25MM for this season.

The former second rounder enjoyed a bounce-back campaign in 2021, totalling nine sacks and a pair of forced fumbles. That was a welcome sign for the Packers after he registered just four sacks the year prior. Alongside Rashan Gary, and in the absence of the other Smith for most of the year, Preston was an integral part of Green Bay’s front seven.

Even with the reduced cap number, the Packers still have plenty of work to do in order to become cap compliant. The team is currently in line to be more than $30MM over the ceiling, though much of that total will come down if they release Za’Darius Smith. Doing so is now more of a viable option, with Preston in the fold for the long term.

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