Thursday, July 4, 2013
AFC East roster bubble: Brad Smith
By James Walker
The AFC East continues its series on players on the bubble in training camp.
Next up, we take a look at Buffalo Bills receiver and returner Brad Smith.
Reason for hope: Smith is a versatile player the Bills really liked two years ago in free agency. Smith was a dynamic threat with the New York Jets but hasn’t found his niche in Buffalo. But he still has two years left on his contract and could get another year with the Bills to prove his worth. Perhaps a new coaching staff, led by first-year head coach Doug Marrone, can return the spark in Smith. He’s always been at his best when a coach is creative enough to use Smith’s versatility.
Reason for concern: Smith signed a four-year, $15 million contract with the Bills in free agency in 2011. Smith only has 37 catches in two seasons and hasn’t made the impact Buffalo expected, considering his contract. With the exception of 1,000-yard receiver Steve Johnson, Buffalo is looking to reboot its receiving corps this year. The Bills have 13 wide receivers currently on their roster, which includes five rookies. Look for Johnson and rookies Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin to take up at least three receiver spots. Second-year speedster T.J. Graham also appears safe. That leaves just two spots for Smith and eight other receivers to compete this summer. Considering his high salary and low production, Smith is definitely on the hot seat this summer.
Chances of making the 53-man roster: 40 percent