Cleveland Browns GM Andrew Berry has been active this offseason remaking the team’s defense especially the defensive line. Additions of Dalvin Tomlinson, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Maurice Hurst and Trysten Hill via free agency were complimented by the selections of Siaki Ika and Isaiah McGuire in the NFL draft.
Last week, Berry noted that he might not be done adding to the roster but there was uncertainty as to what kind of move he might be able to make at this point in the offseason.
That uncertainty is no more as Friday night came news that the Browns were trading for DE Za’Darius Smith:
The #Vikings are trading three-time Pro Bowl pass rusher Za’Darius Smith to the #Browns, sources tell me and @TomPelissero.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 12, 2023
His reworked deal guarantees him $11.75 million in 2023 and he’ll be a FA next March. Deal negotiated by his new agent @ErikBurkhardt of @RocNationSports. pic.twitter.com/dBld2TfSzp
Smith had 10 sacks last season with the Minnesota Vikings after three seasons with the Green Bay Packers. Drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL draft, the edge rusher has had 54.5 career sacks, 136 quarterback hits and 68 tackles for loss
The team made the trade official on Tuesday:
Smith will be 31 years old when the season begins.
With limited draft assets, Berry worked with his former top lieutenant Kwesi Adofo-Mensah on a creative trade:
#Browns receive:⁰— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) May 12, 2023
LB Za’Darius Smith
2025 6th round pick
2025 7th round pick
2024 5th round pick
2025 5th round pick
With over $10 million in salary this year, suitors for Smith were likely very limited.
With Myles Garrett the team’s top pass rusher, Smith, Okoronkwo, McGuire and second-year end Alex Wright give new DC Jim Schwartz a variety of complimentary pieces to work with coming off the edge.
After two losing seasons, Berry has been aggressive in improving Cleveland’s roster. In a pass-happy league, having a set of pass rushers is vital for a defense.
What do you think of the trade for Smith?