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Smith Jets from New York, Lands in Buffalo

During his six seasons in the NFL, Brad Smith has bloomed into part quarterback, part Wildcat threat, part running back, part receiver, and part special teams threat.

Now, Smith is part of the Buffalo Bills.

Shortly before 4 p.m. on Thursday, in what could be best described as a surprise signing, the Bills and Smith agreed on a four-year, $15 million deal.  The move comes as somewhat of a surprise given the fact that the Bills have solid depth at the wide receiver position.  But, despite signs of growth offensively, the Bills still ranked near the bottom of the league (25th) in yards, so it’s not as though the Bills couldn’t use a multi-faceted playmaking threat on the offensive side of the ball. 

Last season, Smith ranked second in the NFL in kick off returns, averaging 28.6 yards per kickoff and had two kick off returns for touchdowns.   Right now on paper, Smith is likely to be paired on kick offs with C.J. Spiller, which could make for a speedy, dynamic tandem.  As a runner, Smith has been far more threatening than as a receiver.  He averaged 7.8 yards on 98 carries spanning five seasons with the Jets, but in New York he wasn’t very effective at wideout.  His career high for receptions in a season is 32 in 2007 when the Jets were battling injuries at wide receiver, but since then his receptions have declined in each year.  He had 12 catches in 2008, seven in 2009 and just four catches last season.   Smith’s last receiving touchdown was in 2007.

It was rumored that the Chicago Bears were thought to be the leading candidate to land Smith, but clearly didn’t pan out.  Meanwhile the Jets focusing the majority of their attention on trying to land prized free agent cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, seemingly were comfortable not only letting Smith test the market, but letting the jack-of-all-trades specialist walk as well. 

So the end result is the Bills have a new offensive threat, a weapon that’s sure to have head coach Chan Gailey’s wheel spinning, thinking of new and innovative ways to get the football into Smith’s hands and give other coaches and coordinators headaches for a change.  In the past, Gailey experienced success with Kordell Stewart, developing the “Slash” package on offense. 

Here’s hoping Gailey can once again duplicate his past “Slash” success with the present-day specialist Smith.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Russ Loede

    July 29, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    Just read Bills are going to list Brad Smith as a QB and not a WR – dig it. Endless possibilities. C.J. Spiller and Brad Smith – the unpredictability and playmaking options will have me tuned in to the Bills on the Sunday Ticket this Fall.

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