The key step in the Minnesota Vikings’ offseason to prove that they could “win it” was the acquisition of J’Darius Smith’s free-agent.
Smith, 29, left the Green Bay Packers this spring, joining a three-year deal with neighboring-state rival Vikings.
And now, he’s excited to see the face of his former teammate Aaron Rogers.
When? Why? How? Let’s start with that When. The Vikings will play Packers in Week 1 at US Bank Stadium. The NFL has decided that new Minnesota captain Kevin O’Connell needs to be baptized on fire during his first game as head coach. So, Minnesota hosts Green Bay on September 11th, the first time in the franchise’s history that the Vikings will play Packers at home in a week 1 game with fan attendance.
So, Smith will see the face of Rogers at the start of the 2022 campaign. And he’s waiting for it, telling Rich Eisen this week, “I can’t wait to get a chance to face them in their first game and I can see that look on Aaron Rogers’ face when he looks at me on the other side of the ball. It’s going to be one, ‘Nice to see you again, but now, it’s not in practice.’
What about Why? Well, the former players like to take proper revenge on their old team. It’s a sports tradition that reads something like, “You didn’t want me, huh? Okay, I’ll stick it with you.” Call it a revenge factor.
Other small-mindedness will appear in 2022 when Kirk Cousins travels to Washington for his first away game against the Commanders in the country’s capital. The cousins led the offenders to offense for three seasons before the organization hit him free agency. Then, a few weeks later, Stephen Diggs will have the opportunity to torch the Vikings in Buffalo. Diggs played five seasons in Minnesota, eventually being forced out of his way by trade – which netted a wide receiver named Justin Jefferson of the Vikings.
And How Seeing Rogers face – it will come from the pressure of the field and possibly the murder. Jaderius Smith has never played a regular season football game against Aaron Rogers, so his comments above reflect the unique, first-of-its-kind nature of opportunity.
While playing for the Baltimore Ravens in 2017, Smith fought the Packers, his Ravens beat the Wisconsin team 23-0 in a shutout – but Brett Handley was a quarterback.
Week 1 will have Smith’s triple inspiration. First, it’s his birthday weekend. He will be 30 years old three days before seeing Rogers face. It’s also his time to make the first impression among Vikings fans because Minnesota plays Green Bay immediately during the season. And, there is the vengeful factor mentioned above which Smith referred to Eisen.
If Smith and his friend Daniel Hunter are healthy – that’s a big deal If Based on recent injury history – the Vikings will recruit across a top 3 EDGE-racing tandem league.
Maybe Hunter could see Rogers’ face a few times.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to her daily YouTube channel, VikesNow. She Hosts a podcast With Bryant McKinney, which airs every Wednesday Raun Sai And Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking Fandom dates back to 1996. Listed Criminal Pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos’ and The Doors (Band).