The Green Bay Packers aren’t kidding anymore. After last year’s humiliation and missing the playoffs, Wisconsin-based franchise decided to make radical changes.
Their new coach Matt LaFleur, his defensive coordinator Mike Pettine and GM Brian Gutekunst, decided to act fast and strong in before the start of the new season.
Starting this morning, the Packers made huge additions to their defensive team.
Three outstanding players signed deals with one of the most popular teams in the NFL, making them look very powerful again.
Za’ Darius Smith, Preston Smith and Adrian Amos all ended their negotiations successfully with the organization this morning.
This will be a huge boost for Packers’ title pushes.
All three players will sign their respective deals this Wednesday at 4 p.m. when the new season officially starts.
Za’Darius Smith comes from Baltimore Ravens, and this excellent pass-rusher will sign a four-year deal worth $66 million, with a $20 million signing bonus, and $34.5 million in the first two seasons of the contract.
The 26-year old was a wish of the Packers for a long time, and several seasons ago, they tried to trade for him but failed in that intention. Smith had a team-high 8.5 sacks with the Ravens, the No.1 defense in the league, and comes after an excellent season in which he showed his potential, which could be a great addition to the Packers’ future plans.
At the moment he is recovering from the sports hernia surgery he had after the season ended, but will be available for the spring workouts.
Another pass-rusher with the surname Smith landed in Green Bay. Only this one came from the Washington Redskins, and his name is Preston.
The main characteristic of this also 26-year old, is his ability to recover fast and to endure the whole season without getting injured or anything like it. He didn’t miss a single game in his first four years as a pro.
Former Redskin will put his signature on a four-year $52 million deal, from which $16 million will be guaranteed.
According to the experts, Preston Smith is a better as an outside rusher, unlike Za’Darius who is more oriented towards inside.
The 6-foot-6 was doubting between the Indianapolis Colts and Green Bay but chose Aaron Rodgers’ team.
Maybe the jackpot of the day was Packers’ deal with Adrian Amos, the former safety of the Chicago Bears and one of the best players in his position.
Not only did the Packers took one of the key pieces from the divisional rival’s defense, which happened to be one of the best in the league, but they managed to cover their critical spot.
Amos will also sign a four-year contract, for which he gets $37 million, $14 in the first year. He is also yet to enter his prime years.
During the last year, he started all 16 matches for the Bears, doing his part of the job without a single flaw.
Amos is 25, and his full potential could be expected in a year or two, meaning that the Packers, in general, have a nice future with these three guys.
With the arrival of these players, LB Nick Perry, once a big project of Green Bay’s organization, will be released. The 28th pick of the 2012 NFL draft who signed a five-year deal in 2016 worth $60 million will receive around $11.1 million of his guaranteed money and have to find luck somewhere else.
The reconstruction of Packers defense is something this team had to do much earlier, and it seems that LaFleur didn’t have any second thoughts about that, unlike Mike McCarthy who delayed that.
NFL trade madness is just about to start, so stay with us and prepare for more exciting news.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write, read, and bet on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a betting tips writer at WagerBop.