Patriots sign former Saints DE Will Smith

Former Saints defensive end Will Smith is officially a New England Patriot. (Instagram/@IWillSmith)
Former Saints defensive end Will Smith is officially a New England Patriot. (Instagram/@IWillSmith)

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After spending his entire 10-year career in New Orleans, Will Smith is finally moving on. The former Saints defensive end signed a one-year deal with the Patriots on Monday, the team announced.  

Smith had been a free agent since February when the Saints the released him in a cost-cutting move that created $11.5 million in cap room for the team. Smith's contract with the Patriots has a base salary of $855,000, according to ESPN.com

Although Smith's now in New England, that doesn't mean he's a lock to make the team. The veteran defensive end will have a couple of things working against him as he battles for a roster spot. Not only will Smith be 33 when the Patriots begin training camp in late July, but he'll also be returning from a knee injury that cost him the 2013 season. 

Smith tore his ACL in the Saints Week 3 preseason game last August and ended up undergoing surgery that sidelined him for the year. 

Besides the ACL tear though, Smith has stayed relatively healthy throughout his 10-year career. Except for 2013, he's played in at least 14 games in every season since his rookie year in 2004. Smith's also tallied at least 5.5 sacks in eight of those nine seasons, including 2006, when he made the Pro Bowl after a 10.5 sack season.  

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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