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Trade details: Vikings paying portion, Browns cap hit only $3 million in ‘23 for Smith

Za’Darius Smith trade cheaper for Browns than initially expected

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns trade for DE Za’Darius Smith became official on Tuesday. There were a myriad of reasons that Smith was made available in a trade including his large salary on a contract that only had one year left on it after being reworked this offseason.

According to a report, Smith was drawn by the chance to play with DE Myles Garrett in Cleveland and we saw his excitement in a video this morning.

More details are missing but we now have information on Smith’s contract and how it will impact the Browns salary cap space for 2023 including how much the Minnesota Vikings are paying:

A lot of numbers in the above tweet but we do not have all of the information. With what we do have, we know that the Vikings are paying over $1 million of Smith’s almost $12 million contract and that the Browns and Smith’s agents adjusted his deal to include incentives and/or void years that bring the cap hit down dramatically in 2023.

As always with GM Andrew Berry, void years allow the team to spread out the cap hit over multiple seasons instead of paying it all in one year. Smith’s incentives could look similar to the original contract he signed with Minnesota last offseason:

A top-end pass rusher for just over $3 million on the salary cap this year and, likely, some flexibility to retain Smith moving forward if both sides agree. Not bad for what is essentially the cost of a fifth-round draft pick.