Za’Darius Smith, edge rusher
The Seahawks need a much better pass rush in 2022, especially to start the year. Carlos Dunlap put up some huge numbers in the last few games of 2021 but overall he was not consistently productive. That goes for all other edge rushers for Seattle, too. Darrell Taylor was very good to start for what was basically his rookie season but seemed to run out of gas in the second half of the season.
Smith missed almost all of this past year after he had surgery to fix a back injury he had been dealing with in training camp. He did come back to play in one playoff game for Green Bay. In that game against the 49ers, Smith played just 19 snaps but had a sack and a tackle for loss.
In 2019, Smith had 13.5 sacks for the Packers and in 2020, he had 12.5, Smith was just one of three players over those two seasons to have 12-plus sacks in each year. Smith is still just 29 years old, however, and should have a few good years left to chase down opposing quarterbacks at a high level.
Green Bay has massive cap space issues entering this offseason and even if they find a way to re-sign Aaron Rodgers they will likely have to release a few good players. The Packers would save $15.28 million by letting Smith go and that might be too much to pass up.