After missing the playoffs in back-to-back years, the Green Bay Packers are spending big in free agency to try to get back the postseason.
The Packers agreed to $183 million worth of contracts Tuesday with edge rusher Za'Darius Smith, linebacker Preston Smith, safety Adrian Amos and offensive lineman Billy Turner. The signings should improve a defense that ranked 18th in the NFL in 2018 and add some more protection for quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Za'Darius Smith is getting the biggest deal: $66 million over four years with $34.5 million in the first two years, according to his agency, SportsTrust Advisors. Smith, 26, led the Baltimore Ravens with 8½ sacks last season — including three in one game against Tennessee — and has 18½ in his 58-game career.
Smith is one of four defenders the Ravens have already lost in free agency, along with linebackers C.J. Mosley (Jets) and Terrell Suggs (Cardinals) and safety Eric Weddle (Rams).
>>Giants Trade OBJ To Browns, Jets Sign RB Bell
The rumors can end because a trade is happening: Odell Beckham Jr. has been traded from the Giants to the Browns.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the trade involves the Browns sending their first-round pick in 2019 (No. 17 overall), one of the Browns third-round picks this year (their second one) as well as safety Jabrill Peppers.
Baker Mayfield, who should have been the 2018 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, will be throwing to Beckham, Jarvis Landry (OBJ's teammate at LSU), Antonio Callaway and David Njoku.
Le'Veon Bell dropped an album on Spotify at midnight, it contained no clues and then he signed with the Jets, per CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora.
The news was first reported by Adam Schefter of ESPN, who also reported the details of the contract: four years, $52.5 million with $35 million guaranteed and the possibility to go up as high as $61 million with incentives.
Bell sat out all of 2018 after the Steelers franchise tagged him for a second time, thinking he would hit free agency and make a pile of money, including making up for the $14 million he lost out on by not playing on the tag last year. Instead, as La Canfora noted, his market was soft.