Should The Chiefs Trade for Za’Darius Smith?

Do you think the Chiefs should trade for Za'Darius Smith?

Za’Darius Smith, OLB/Edge for the Green Bay Packers, could be on the trade block this offseason. The 30-year-old Kentucky product still has another year on his contract but could produce about $15.2 million in cap savings if cut or traded. Smith’s first two seasons in Green Bay were the best of his career, compiling 26 total sacks and 29 tackles for loss. He did not eclipse either of those totals during his first four seasons in Baltimore to put this into perspective.

The Caviat

Unfortunately for Smith, he spent nearly all of his 2021 season on IR playing just one game. Now that he is on the other side of 30, there are questions about his durability. All of this has the rumor mill twirling as the Packers sort their cap situation. Being $30+ million over the cap, the cap relief that Smith can create for the Packers could go a long way. When you consider that the Packers have both Rashan Gary and Preston Smith under contract, it could make sense to let him go. Or even better, trade him.

So that raises the question; should the chiefs trade for Za’Darius Smith?

The Fit

The Kansas City Chiefs have a clear-cut need at the edge. Melvin Ingram is set to hit the market, Frank Clark is an obvious cut candidate, and there is not much depth at the position beyond those two. If we are looking at the roster as it stands, then Smith could fill an obvious need even if we keep Clark. This setup would provide the Chiefs with a formidable option opposite Clark and next to Chris Jones.

Spagnuolo’s defensive success is determined by the ability to rush the quarterback. Namely, with just the front four. We have seen his scheme look best when the defense is generating sacks and forcing the QB into quick decisions. When the Chiefs won the Super Bowl in 2019, the defense generated the 11th most sacks with 45. This past season, the Chiefs’ defense ranked 29th with just 31 sacks. If we want to go back to the big game, we need to pressure opposing QBs, and Smith could help with that.

The Money

The Chiefs currently have just $11.1 million in available space, with several moves still up in the air. Between re-signing players like Orlando Brown or Tyrann Mathieu and extending Tyreek Hill, they have several moves to consider. That does not even include all of the restructures that could take place between now and training camp. So, should the Chiefs trade for Za’Darius Smith?

From a monetary standpoint, a trade does not make much sense. For starters, the Chiefs do not have the cap resources to acquire the $15.2 million contract that Smith is due. They would need to move some money around in a major way to trade for Smith. They also have several priorities this offseason. Even though edge rusher is one, they cannot afford to sacrifice the flexibility they need to address those roster holes.

The Answer

The answer here is no, unfortunately. A trade for the superstar edge doesn’t make enough sense to make it happen. The main reason the Packers would be shopping Smith is to save money. This means the only viable trade option is draft picks. Not only would the Chiefs need to trade draft capital, but they would be acquiring a player they cannot currently afford. Even though the need for Smith is there, the financials are not quite where they would need to be without Green Bay committing to pay more of his money, which would not happen with their current situation.

However, a trade is not the only option to acquire Smith. If no other team tries to trade for the Packers’ edge rusher, they may be inclined to release him for the cap savings. While this would open Smith up for the rest of the NFL, it could result in the Chiefs signing him for much less than the $15+ million they would pay in a trade situation. When you consider the amount the Packers are on the hook for, the Chiefs could get away with a one-year veteran minimum deal with some incentives sprinkled in. While the trade is off the table, Za’Darius Smith certainly isn’t.

Do you think the Chiefs should trade for Za’Darius Smith? Leave a comment down below to join the discussion.

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