The Buffalo Bills on Monday traded with the Carolina Panthers for linebacker Andre Smith.
General manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott once again reached into their Carolina Panthers background by acquiring linebacker Andre Smith in a trade, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. The depth at the linebacker position was a bit concerning for the Buffalo Bills but now gets a young player, who has special teams experience.
According to Rapoport, the Bills sent a conditional seventh-round pick from the 2023 NFL Draft to the Carolina Panthers.
Andre Smith was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the seventh round of the 2018 NFL Draft out of the University of North Carolina. He played only three games as a rookie but did play 16 games last season. However, the playing time was almost extensively on special teams, playing 65% of their special teams snaps last year.
Buffalo Bills get stronger on special teams
This is an interesting move considering that Andre Smith doesn’t fit what the Bills have looked for from their linebackers. In his scouting report by Matt Miller at Bleacher Report, he notes that Smith has limited athleticism and isn’t a typical three-down linebacker.
This is almost the complete opposite of what the Bills have looked for with players like Tremaine Edmunds and Matt Milano. The move only makes sense for his special teams play but the Bills already have Tyler Matakevich. He is another linebacker with extensive special teams play but very limited defensive experience.
The fact that the Bills were willing to trade a draft pick, although it is a seventh-rounder in 2023, means they believe he will have a spot on their 53-man roster. The question now becomes, who does he bump off the roster as the Buffalo Bills already were expected to have to make some tough decisions this weekend.