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Sources: Green Bay Packers sign Preston Smith to 4-year, $52.5 million extension; Za'Darius Smith released

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Stephen A. on Aaron Rodgers' new contract: 'So what?!' (1:22)

Stephen A. Smith is more focused on Aaron Rodgers' ability to win another championship than his new deal with the Packers. (1:22)

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Preston Smith helped extend his career with the Green Bay Packers, and the team picked up much needed salary-cap space, when they came to an agreement on a new contract Monday.

Meanwhile, Za'Darius Smith, the pass-rusher who signed in Green Bay in the same 2019 free-agent class as Preston Smith, saw his time with the Packers end on Monday as he was released, the team announced.

Preston Smith, who had one year and $12.5 million left on his existing deal, signed a four-year, $52.5 million extension, a source told ESPN. Smith will make $25 million over the next two seasons with the chance to earn $31 million with incentives. The entire deal could earn Smith up to $71 million over five seasons should he reach all of the incentives.

The release of Za'Darius Smith saves the Packers $15.75 million in salary-cap space.

The Packers announced Preston Smith's extension but did not disclose terms.

"We are excited to have Preston continue his career with the Packers," general manager Brian Gutekunst said in a statement. "Since coming to Green Bay, he has not only contributed with production on the field but has been a great presence in the locker room and a leader for this team."

Preston Smith was scheduled to count $19.5 million on this year's cap. The Packers were $45.5 million over their salary cap before Smith's deal, which is expected to lower his cap charge by about $8-9 million. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers' contract extension, when it's done, also will lower the Packers' cap number.

The Packers also released offensive tackle Billy Turner, the team announced. That move saves them $3.142 million in cap space immediately or $5.8 million if they designate him a post-June 1 release.

The Packers must be under the cap by 4 p.m. ET Wednesday, when the 2022 league year begins.

Preston Smith teamed with Rashan Gary to form a strong pass-rushing duo last season while Za'Darius Smith missed most of the year because of a back injury. Preston Smith took a pay cut last offseason following a substandard 2021 season but bounced back with nine sacks.

In seven seasons, he has 49.5 sacks and has missed only one game. He originally signed a four-year, $52 million deal with the Packers in 2019.

Za'Darius Smith, who was named to the Pro Bowl in each of his first two seasons with the Packers (2019 and 2020) and was a second-team All-Pro in 2020, played only 18 snaps last year in the regular season. All came in the season opener before he underwent back surgery. He did not return until the NFC divisional playoff game, a loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

Last offseason, he made attempts to secure a contract extension with the Packers, even changing agents in May. However, he dealt with a back injury that kept him out of offseason practices and most of training camp.

Za'Darius Smith was the highest-priced free agent ever signed by Gutekunst, who gave him a four-year, $66 million deal. He lived up to it early on, posting the most sacks (26) by a player in his first two seasons with the Packers. He was one of only three players in the NFL with 12-plus sacks in 2019 and 2020, joining Aaron Donald and T.J. Watt.

"We want to thank Za'Darius for his contributions to the Packers over the past three seasons," Gutekunst said in a statement. "He came in and made an immediate impact on this football team, helping the team win three straight division titles. We want to wish Za'Darius and his family all the best moving forward."

Also currently on the Packers' cap is receiver Davante Adams' $20.145 million franchise tag. Neither the Packers nor Adams want him to play under the tag this season. It would provide Adams no long-term security and would be hard for the team to handle on their cap. While there has been little progress in negotiations, Gutekunst said using the tag is "more of a bridge to hopefully an extension down the road." They will have until 4 p.m. ET on July 15 to work out an extension.