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NFL News And Notes

Even though we are still several months until the beginning of the NFL season, teams around the league continue to work on roster construction with the hope of bringing home a Super Bowl championship.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the biggest stories of the week around the National Football League.

Vikings Move On From Pass Rusher

The Minnesota Vikings made headlines this last week as they traded pass rusher Za’Darius Smith to the Cleveland Browns. The Vikings are trading Smith and 2025 sixth and seventh-round picks in exchange for a 2024 and 2025 fifth-round pick.

Last season, the 30-year-old played in 16 games, amassing 44 tackles, 10 sacks, and a forced fumble for the Vikings. Unhappy with his contract, though, Smith requested a release or a trade earlier this offseason.

Originally signed through 2024, Smith reworked his deal to make him a free agent after the upcoming season.

After the trade, the Vikings will pay a little over a million dollars of the deal, while the Browns will take on the rest.

Heading into this season, the Vikings have the second-best odds of winning the NFC North at +310. As for the Browns, they are +360 to win the AFC North, third best in the division.

Steelers Have Busy Thursday At Quarterback Position

On Thursday of this week, the Pittsburgh Steelers were busy making a couple of moves at their quarterback position.

First, the Steelers opted to bring back quarterback Mason Rudolph. The 27-year-old played in two games last season, throwing for 277 yards and a touchdown on 35 completions. He served as the third-string quarterback last season, and he likely will resume that role this upcoming season.

Part of the reason for Rudolph being third string is that the Steelers are also signing backup quarterback Mitchell Trubisky to an extension, according to GM Omar Khan. The two-year extension will bring his contract to three-years total, worth at least $19.4 million (possibly worth as much as $33 million).

Last season, the 28-year-old played in seven games, throwing for 1,252 yards and four touchdowns.

Both of these two will play second fiddle to starting quarterback Kenny Pickett. The 24-year-old Pickett enters his second season with the Steelers after throwing for 2,404 yards and seven touchdowns over 13 games (12 starts) last year.

The Steelers currently have the worst odds of winning the AFC North at +600.

Chargers Bring In Veteran Defensive Tackle

According to Pro Football Talk’s Charean Williams, the Los Angeles Chargers are signing defensive tackle Nick Williams to a one-year deal.

The 33-year-old Williams is going into his ninth season in the NFL. Last season, with the New York Giants, he played in eight games, going for 15 tackles. His best season was in 2019 with the Chicago Bears, where he had 42 tackles and six sacks.

Still, the addition of Williams will add depth to a defensive unit that ranked 23rd in scoring defense, allowing opponents an average of 23.1 points per game.

The Chargers currently have the third-best odds of winning the AFC West at +300.

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