It appears as though another drastic change is coming to the Minnesota Vikings’ defense.
On Thursday, veteran linebacker Za’Darius Smith took to Twitter to express his thankfulness for the Vikings’ organization, fans, coaches and teammates.
In a follow-up, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport revealed that Smith has asked for his release. However, Rapoport added that the Vikings aren’t planning to grant Smith’s wish.
Last year, the Vikings handed Smith a three-year contract worth $42 million following his release from the Green bay Packers Smith recorded 10 sacks and five pass defenses, earning his third career Pro Bowl selection.
Though the Vikings won 13 games and the NFC North last season, they ranked 31st in total defense and 28th in scoring. Ed Donatell was let go as the defensive coordinator and replaced by ex-Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores.
If the Vikings release Smith, he wouldn’t be the only notable defensive player to hit the open market. Fellow Pro Bowl linebacker Eric Kendricks was recently released by the Vikings, and future Hall of Famer and cornerback Patrick Peterson is six days away from entering free agency.
For his career, the 30-year-old Smith has 54.5 sacks, 12 pass defenses and nine forced fumbles. He also earned Pro Bowl nods as a Packer in 2019 and 2020.WANT MORE FROM TOTALPROSPORTS? FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS.