NFL

Bengals sign former Browns tight end Alex Smith

4/16/13 in NFL   |   BrianMaddock   |   1429 respect

The Cincinnati Bengals signed tight end Alex Smith as an unrestricted free agent out of Cleveland on Tuesday.
 
The signing had been expected since Alex Smith visited the Cincinnati Bengals last week, along with a slew of other unrestricted free agents including linebackers James Harrison and Karlos Dansby as well as safety Kerry Rhodes. The Cincinnati Bengals continue to hold interest in James Harrison, although the two sides recently hit a snag in potential contract talks.
 
Alex Smith spent last season mostly as a blocking tight end on running downs, while later in last season as serving time as a halfback. Alex Smith appeared in 12 games, including two starts last season, while recording 13 receptions for 47 yards. Three of the four games Alex Smith missed last season were because of a concussion.
 
The Cincinnati Bengals too are expected to primarily use tight end Alex Smith as a blocker.The eight-year veteran Alex Smith shall offer solid depth behind Jermaine Gresham as the fourth tight end signed onto the roster, which already includes Richard Quinn and Orson Charles. However, the addition of Alex Smith also provides the Cincinnati Bengals with the flexibility to play Orson Charles at the fullback position. Orson Charles will likely get plenty of opportunity to serve as an option to catch out of the backfield.
 
Before spending the past three seasons with the Cleveland Browns Alex Smith made stops at Philadelphia and Tampa Bay.
 
Originally signed as a third-round pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2005 NFL draft, Alex Smith was traded to the New England Patriots at the end of four seasons and released in the final cuts for the 53-man roster.  However, Alex Smith quickly picked up the 2009 season with the Philadelphia Eagles, while playing all 16 regular season games, including five starts.
 
Alex Smith has appeared in 103 career games, while starting 55 contests. He totaled 160 receptions for 1,461 yards and 12 touchdowns during his NFL career. Alex Smith has also seen action in three postseason games, while starting two of the contests.
 
In Cincinnati Alex Smith will find familiarity with offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, under whom he was a much more effective receiver in Tampa Bay. Alex Smith had 129 receptions for 1,252 yards and 11 touchdowns during the stretch with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
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