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The Cleveland Browns have acquired Za'Darius Smith from the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for future NFL draft picks. Scott Taetsch/Getty Images


  • Za'Darius Smith was traded by the Vikings to the Browns for future picks, according to reports
  • Smith is expected to form a lethal pass-rushing duo with Myles Garrett in Cleveland
  • Smith is set to become a free agent in March 2024

After asking for his release, Za'Darius Smith finally got his wish after being traded to the Cleveland Browns by the Minnesota Vikings, according to reports.

The three-time Pro Bowler was sent to Cleveland together with a 2025 sixth-round pick and a 2025 seventh-round pick, unnamed sources told NFL Network Insiders Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero. An unnamed source also confirmed the news to ESPN.

In exchange, the Browns reportedly gave up a pair of fifth-round picks (2024 and 2025 selections) as part of the deal.

Following the deal, Smith will team up with the Browns' Myles Garrett to form one of the most accomplished pass-rushing duos in the NFL.

Smith's performance in previous NFL seasons says it all. Last season, the 2020 Second-team All-Pro had 10 sacks. In 2019 and 2020, Smith combined for 26 sacks in consecutive Pro Bowl seasons for the Green Bay Packers.

Smith has more than $11 million in guaranteed money left in his current pact. He is set to become a free agent in March 2024.

This formally ends Smith's one-season stint with the Vikings. He signed with Minnesota last year after failing to come to terms with the Baltimore Ravens. He had 44 tackles, 10 sacks, 24 quarterback hits and a forced fumble in 16 starts, a performance that allowed him to earn his third career Pro Bowl, NBC Sports reported.

The Alabama native spent four years in Baltimore. He also had a three-year stint with the Green Bay Packers before ending up with Minnesota.

Smith had already hinted about wanting to leave the Vikings back in March. At the time, the 30-year-old tweeted a farewell message and thanked the organization for an amazing season and experience.

"I just want to say 'Thank you!' to Skol Nation for an amazing season & experience! Thank you to all of my Teammates, Coaches & the entire Minnesota Vikings Organization!" Smith tweeted on March 9.

Despite that post, ESPN reported that sources claimed at the time that the Vikings had no plans of releasing him. The possibility of trade discussions was suggested.

This possibility further grew louder after the Vikings signed Marcus Davenport on the first day of the NFL's free-agent negotiating period.

Za'Darius Smith
Za'Darius Smith will be moving to the Cleveland Browns, forming a deadly pass-rushing duo with Myles Garrett next NFL season. Patrick McDermott/Getty Images