Za’Darius Smith Free Agent Predictions: Are the Jaguars and Bills potential landing spots?

The Green Bay Packers have released OLB Za'Darius Smith -- here are some predictions and potential free agent landing spots for him.

The Green Bay Packers opened up a huge chunk of cap space ahead of free agency, releasing veteran pass rusher Za’Darius Smith on Monday. Smith now joins a pass-rusher market headlined by Von Miller and Jadeveon Clowney. We’ll make some free agent predictions about where Smith could land in the 2022 market.

Packers release Za’Darius Smith | Predictions and landing spots

Smith would have made a $14.5 million base salary this season, the last year of his contract. With a $26.7 million cap number, Smith was seen as a likely cap casualty heading into the offseason. His release will save the Packers roughly $15.2 million on the salary cap, which could help them reach a long-term deal with star wideout Davante Adams, who has been franchise-tagged.

The Packers signed fellow pass rusher Preston Smith to a long-term deal immediately before cutting Za’Darius Smith.

With Za’Darius Smith hitting the open market, he should garner plenty of interest as an immediate free agent. Below are three potential fits for the two-time Pro Bowl pass rusher.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Smith is looking to cash in on a big deal after exceeding expectations on his previous contracts. Part of the reason the Packers released him was that he wanted more money. The Jaguars have plenty of available cash and need pass-rushing help in a major way. With a 3-4 defense, Smith can slide in immediately as a weakside EDGE rusher in Jacksonville.

Arizona Cardinals

With Chandler Jones likely to leave town, the Cardinals will need a replacement in the pass-rushing department. Smith shouldn’t cost as much as Jones, and he should be able to slide into his role fairly quickly. The Cardinals are gearing up to make a run at the Super Bowl after a disappointing end to last season, so adding a quality EDGE is paramount.

Buffalo Bills

Like the Cardinals, the Bills are on the cusp of being a perennial contender. With Jerry Hughes entering free agency (and the twilight of his career), adding Smith, 29, would allow for a youthful upgrade on the EDGE. At 6-foot-4 and 272 pounds, Smith has the versatility to play at defensive end in the Bills’ 4-3 front.

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