By Mark Gaughan
Brad Smith’s tenure as a potential multi-dimensional offensive weapon ended quietly on Friday. Smith was released from the injured reserve list, the team announced. Smith suffered an injury to his ribs in the exhibition finale but now is fully healthy. His release gives him a chance to try to hook on with another team for the final half of the season.
Smith failed to fulfill the vision former coach Chan Gailey had for him when he was signed in 2011. The Bills were targeting him as a key contributor as a Wildcat quarterback and a kick returner. They gave him a four-year contract that averaged $3.67 million a year.
However, the Wildcat formation never emerged as a productive element in the Bills’ offense. Smith had just 34 carries for 203 yards in 2011 and 2012. As a receiver, he caught 23 passes his first Bills season and 14 his second. He only wound up being a part-time kickoff returner, taking back 33 kicks over two seasons. He had one kickoff return for a touchdown last season. He was bidding to make the team strictly as a wide receiver this summer. He had restructured his contract over the summer to give himself a better shot to make the 53-man roster.