Now THIS is exciting. Adam Schefter reports that the Bills have signed former Jets WR/RB/Wildcat QB Brad Smith to a four-year, $15 million dollar deal.
I can hear the complaints now: “Why are we spending a bunch of money on a wide receiver? That’s probably our strongest position!” and “Brad Smith’s not even that good! He had less than 350 yards receiving and rushing last season combined!”
Relax people. This could turn out to be a fantastic signing. Here’s some reasons why:
1) Smith’s a versatile, athletic guy…who is now playing for a very creative offensive mind in Chan Gailey: If there’s one thing Chan Gailey is pretty good at, it’s making the most out of the offensive talent he is given. Gailey turned a Buffalo offense with a patchwork offensive line and a group of skill players that were mostly low draft picks/castoffs into a pretty dangerous offense. He’s going to find a lot of fun things to do with Smith. Smith can run, pass, and catch pretty effectively…and Gailey’s going to give him the chance to do all three.
2) Smith is very productive in small doses, and is the home-run hitter Buffalo desperately needs: Smith’s not an every-down player. Not even close. But put him in a few specific packages and give him several touches a game? He’ll make something happen. Last season, he averaged 7.9 yards per rush. Yeah, it was only over 38 carries, but still. The man is a straight-up playmaker.
3) Smith is also an elite returner – Last season Smith averaged an outstanding 28.6 yards per kickoff return and took two all the way for scores. Granted, with the NFL’s new rules kickoff returns might not matter as much, but it’s still another chance for him to make a big play. By the way, Buffalo now has an embarrassment of riches at returner. Between Smith, Leodis McKelvin, C.J. Spiller, Roscoe Parrish, and even Terrence McGee…holy crap.
4) Is there such a thing as being too strong at one position? The Bills are suddenly absolutely loaded with young, talented receivers. Smith, Stevie Johnson, Roscoe Parrish, David Nelson, perhaps Marcus Easley…and that’s not even counting Lee Evans (or Fred Jackson, C.J. Spiller or even Johnny White out of the backfield!) I think this is a pretty sure sign the Bills are going to spread the field and let Ryan Fitzpatrick have some fun.
5) Thank goodness he’s not playing against the Bills anymore. This signing might have been worth it just not to play against him again. Seriously, if I had to see Smith pick up an easy first down running out of the Jets’ wildcat one more time, I might have put an ax through my TV.
So cheer up people. This might not be the best Bills season ever, but man, it might end up being among the most entertaining.