In 2018, the Green Bay Packers had a very disappointing season, finishing 6-9-1 and missing the playoffs for the second season in a row. This comes just two years after they had a 10-6 record, winning the NFC North and making it to the NFC Championship Game where they lost to the Atlanta Falcons.

For one of the more storied and iconic franchises in NFL history, this was unacceptable, especially when they possess a certain quarterback named Aaron Rodgers, who at age 35 is still going strong but doesn't have the reinforcements he enjoyed not too long ago.

At the NFL Combine a few weeks ago, word got out that the Packers intended to be aggressive this year in free agency. Some doubted they would follow through, but this week they went ahead and signed not one, but two defensive ends: Za'Darius Smith and Preston Smith.

Both signings are young and rich

Za'Darius Smith, a 26-year-old defensive end, has played each of his four NFL seasons thus far for the Baltimore Ravens, reaching the playoffs in 2018. He showed some real potential last season, posting 8.5 sacks and starting in nine of the 17 games he played in, which includes the Ravens' wild-card playoff round loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.

Preston Smith is also 26 years old and a four-year veteran.

He has spent his NFL career thus far in Washington playing linebacker, although the Packers seem to be slotting him in as an edge rusher.

Za'Darius signed for $66 million over the next four years, including a $20 million signing bonus. Preston has been inked to a four-year, $52 million contract which will also earn him a $16 million signing bonus.

Packers' front office has been concerned about their defense

Green Bay's defensive corps felt thin last year. Incumbent pass rusher Clay Matthews, who is nearing his 33rd birthday, has been fading and isn't quite what he used to be when he made six Pro Bowl teams in his first seven seasons. Matthews made $11.4 million last season, and his salary cap hit was over $14 million, giving the Packers a sense of urgency as far as upgrading on that side of the ball and giving new head coach Matt LaFleur more to work with.

Their other main edge rusher, Nick Perry, was due a similar salary and cap hit this upcoming season. The Packers released Perry days ago, and Matthews is now a free agent.

A league source said of general manager Brian Gutekunst, "He had to do something." In both Za'Darius Smith and Preston Smith, they will not only get a bit of salary cap relief, but according to a longtime NFL scout, both Smiths are "better than Nick Perry and Clay as pass-rushers."

Green Bay may not be done augmenting their team. According to ESPN, they still have over $17 million in cap space to work with. They have been rumored to be interested in New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram, although it looks like Ingram will be joining Baltimore.

Aaron Rodgers, the future Hall of Fame quarterback who led the Packers to their last Super Bowl win eight years ago, signed a huge four-year contract extension last summer. Like rival Tom Brady, Rodgers reportedly wants to play into his 40s. With Rodgers locked up for the next few years, it looks like the Packers may be starting to gear up for what they hope will be another Super Bowl run in the near future.