Bills sign tight end Lee Smith

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Photo credit Photo: John O. Watson - Getty Images
Heading into free agency and after releasing Charles Clay, the Buffalo Bills had only one tight end on their roster, Jason Croom. Fast-forward two months, and suddenly the tight end room is really crowded after the team announced they’ve signed Lee Smith to a three-year contract.

Signed to a three-year contract: TE Lee Smith

— Buffalo Bills PR (@BuffaloBillsPR) May 13, 2019

NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport tweeted that the deal is for $9 million over those three years, as well as other details of the contract:

The #Bills and TE Lee Smith signed a 3-year deal worth $9 million, source said. The front-loaded contract includes fully guaranteed money into year 2. Another hole filled in Buffalo.

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 13, 2019

Smith joins Croom, as well as drafted tight ends Dawson Knox (Ole Miss) and Tommy Sweeney (Boston College), and free agent addition Tyler Kroft, formerly of the Cincinnati Bengals. Rookie tryout tight end Moral Stephens (Florida) was also signed by the club on Monday, while free agent acquistion Jake Fisher was released.  That gives the Bills six tight ends on their roster.

Smith returns to Buffalo after spending three seasons with the team from 2011 to 2014. He entered the league as a fifth round pick of the New England Patriots in 2011, but was released as part of the final cut downs and the Bills claimed him off waivers.  

Smith is mostly a blocking tight end who contributes a bit in the passing game, and is also a solid special teams contributor. Through his first stint in Buffalo, he recorded 20 catches for 144 yards and three touchdowns before moving on to the Oakland Raiders. With the Raiders, he spent four years in Oakland with 36 receptions for 248 yards and four touchdowns. He also played over 45% of the special teams snaps for the Raiders last year.

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