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Former Green Bay Packers linebacker Za’Darius Smith can’t wait to take on former quarterback Aaron Rodgers in 2022.
There were many departures on the Green Bay Packers this offseason, the most notable name on the offensive side of the ball was wide receiver Davante Adams. On the defensive side, Packers released linebacker Za’Darius Smith from his contract and became a free agent. After initially agreeing to a deal with the Baltimore Ravens, Smith instead chose to sign with Green Bay’s NFC North rivals, the Minnesota Vikings.
Back in a May appearance on “The Rich Eisen Show,” Smith talked about the Vikings taking on the Packers in Week 1 of the 2022 season, revealing that he is looking forward to meeting quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
You can listen to Smith’s comments in “The Rich Eisen Show’s” tweet below (1:00 mark):
Za’Darius Smith can not wait to meet Aaron Rodgers, Packers in Week 1
Who does not want to meet their former team? It is a way for the player to prove to the organization that they were wrong in releasing or trading them. Just ask Carolina Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield, who said he looks forward to playing against the Cleveland Browns in Week 1 if he were to win the starting job in training camp.
The Vikings are set to face the Packers, the team that eliminated them from the playoffs in Week 17 last year.
Smith gave a foretaste of what might come Rodgers’ way when he posted a picture on his Twitter account of himself standing next to his colleague Danielle Hunter. The caption was simple – the date of week 1 matchup.
Last year, Smith only played in the season opener against the New Orleans Saints and the division round against the San Francisco 49ers due to a back injury.
In his three seasons with the team, Smith recorded 108 combined tackles, 60 quarterback hits, 26 sacks, five forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and two defensive passes. He came to the Pro Bowl in each of his first two years with the team.
The Vikings will look to make a statement against the Packers to begin their 2022 season under a new regime of general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O’Connell. Smith will look to show the Packers what they are missing in defense.