The Bills have reached an agreement with Jets swingman Brad Smith, in a move that comes as a surprise given the Bills' crowded cast of wide receivers. Smith is a weapon that will get the creative gears in Chan Gailey's head turning.
Smith is a special teams ace, a Wildcat quarterback threat and a part-time receiver. He ranked second in the NFL last season in kickoff returns, with a 28.6-yard average. He has three kick returns for TDs in his five seasons. He's also a demon on kick coverage. He was one of the Jets' leading tacklers on special teams. He was a star quarterback in college at Missouri, although the Jets used him at QB only in spot duty in the Wildcat package.
Smith threw a touchdown pass against the Bills in Orchard Park last year - a 3-yarder to Dustin Keller. But he only threw seven passes in five seasons. He was used more as a runner in a variety of ways, on reverses, out of a full-house backfield and in the Wildcat. He had 98 rushes for 767 yards, a 7.8 yard average. He had five rushes for 60 yards in the season-finale against the BIlls' last-ranked run defense.
Smith never developed into much of a receiver for the Jets. He had four catches last year, seven in '09 and 12 in '08. He never was used in the three-wide package unless there were injuries, and the Jets didn't use a four-wide set much. Smith had 32 catches - but only for a 10.2-yard average - in 2007 when he was pressed into a bigger WR role due to injuries.
Smith's deal is worth a reported $3.25 million a year. That's not bit-player money. One would think he will get chances in the Bills' crowded wide-receiver lineup.