Pass-rusher Za'Darius Smith reuniting with Baltimore Ravens on 4-year deal, source says

Former Green Bay Packers pass-rusher Za'Darius Smith is signing a four-year, $35 million deal that has a maximum value of $50 million with the Baltimore Ravens, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter on Wednesday.

The move reunites Smith with the team that selected him in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL draft. He played his first four seasons in Baltimore.

The Packers released Smith on March 14 as part of a series of moves necessary to get under the salary cap.

The addition of Smith addresses one of the Ravens' biggest offseason needs. Baltimore totaled only 21 sacks in its standard rush (four or more rushers) last season, which was tied for 26th in the league.

With Justin Houston being a free agent, the returning edge rushers for the Ravens -- Odafe Oweh, Tyus Bowser and Jaylon Ferguson -- have combined for 27 career sacks. Baltimore hasn't had a player reach double-digit sacks in a season since Terrell Suggs in 2017.

The Ravens are making strides in revamping a defense that allowed 23.1 points per game last season, which was the fourth most in franchise history. In addition to Smith, Baltimore reached a five-year, $70 million agreement with safety Marcus Williams on Tuesday.

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, Smith 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.

Smith was the highest-priced free agent ever signed by general manager Brian 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.

Smith, 29, has 44.5 sacks in seven NFL seasons.

ESPN's Rob Demovsky and Jamison Hensley contributed to this report.