Smith agreed to terms on a three-year, $9 million contract with the Bills on Monday. It will be the second stint in the Queen City for Smith, who previously played for the Bills from 2011-14. The 31-year-old was released by the Raiders on May 2 and spent less then two weeks looking for a new home. Smith is best known for his blocking, with only 56 catches in 107 career games (66 starts). His presence on the roster may leave Jason Croom, Tommy Sweeney and Jake Fisher battling for one spot, as the Bills also have Tyler Kroft and rookie third-round pick Dawson Knox.
Smith was released by the Raiders on Thursday, Field Yates of ESPN reports. Though now over 31 years old, Smith was still considered one of the better blocking tight ends in the league and his release only clears about $2.6 million in cap space. Regardless of the motive for his dismissal, there's now more of an opportunity for Luke Willson, Darren Waller and fourth-round rookie Foster Moreau to see expanded roles in 2019. Meanwhile, Smith should have no problem landing a new contract in advance of training camp. The Patriots, Texans, Rams and Jaguars all seem like good fits.
Smith (back) won't carry an injury designation into Sunday's game versus the Bengals, Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com reports. Smith was a limited participant in the final two practices this week but the issues won't affect his game status. The eighth-year pro works mainly in a run-blocking role as Jared Cook takes over as the pass catcher.
Smith was limited during Thursday's practice due to a back injury. Smith was a new addition to the Raiders' injury report Thursday after practicing in full Wednesday, though his back issue doesn't appear to be too severe. If he's unable to go Sunday against the Bengals, however, Derek Carrier could see additional reps behind starting tight end Jared Cook.
Smith caught his lone target for a three-yard touchdown in Sunday's 24-21 win over the Steelers. Smith's second score in as many weeks put the Raiders ahead of the Steelers with just over five minutes to play during Sunday's tilt. Fellow tight end Jared Cook exploded for over 100 yards receiving again, but both Smith and Derek Carrier were able to vulture touchdown receptions. Smith's streak of finding the end zone may very well come to an end in Week 15 against the Bengals, but he should continue to provide the Raiders with real-life value as a blocker.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|1||09/08||@New York Jets||6||4.88|
|2||09/15||@New York Giants||19||7.38|
|4||09/29||New England Patriots||18||7.37|
|16||12/22||@New England Patriots||18||7.37|
|17||12/29||New York Jets||6||4.88|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||9||8||59||1||3||7.38||11|