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Vikings Player Requested Sudden Release: Report

Minnesota Vikings linebacker Za'Darius Smith has reportedly requested his release from the team less than a full year after signing with the franchise as a free agent, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports.

"#Vikings Pro Bowl pass-rusher Za'Darius Smith informed the team that he wants to be released, I’m told. The team has no plans to do that. The situation remains unresolved," Rapoport tweeted.

Smith posted a tweet thanking Vikings fans and the organization for "an amazing season and experience" on Thursday (March 9), though not specifically mentioning that he wanted to leave the team.

"I just want to say 'Thank you!' to Skol Nation for an amazing season & experience! Thank you to all of my Teammates, Coaches & the entire Minnesota Vikings Organization," Smith tweeted.

Smith, who had previously spent three years with the NFC North Division rival Green Bay Packers, signed a three-year deal with the Vikings in March 2022, having reportedly turned down a our-year, $35 million offer from the Baltimore Ravens with a maximum of $50 million with incentives before accepting Minnesota's offer, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports. The 30-year-old linebacker recorded 44 tackles, 10 sacks and 15 tackles for loss during his lone season with the Vikings.

Smith had previously recorded 107 tackles, 26.0 sacks, 29 tackles for loss, 60 QB hits and four forced fumbles during his first two seasons in Green Bay, starting in all 16 regular-season games during both the 2019 and 2020 seasons, which resulted in back-to-back NFC Championship Game appearances, but was limited to just one appearance during the 2021 season after experiencing a back injury in training camp and playing only 18 snaps in the team's Week 1 regular-season loss.

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