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Former Missouri QB Brad Smith agrees to deal with Buffalo Bills

Thursday, July 28, 2011 | 10:16 p.m. CDT

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Former Missouri quarterback Brad Smith is coming to the Buffalo Bills, and the wildcat can't be far behind.

The multitalented offensive player agreed to a four-year contract worth about $15 million on Thursday, Smith's agent, Mark Bartelstein said.

Smith was a star quarterback at Missouri before being selected by the New York Jets in the fourth round of the 2006 draft. Smith was a free agent after spending his first five NFL seasons with the Jets, where he was a threat as a receiver, rusher and making the occasional pass while taking snaps out of the quarterback spot in wildcat formations.

For his NFL career, he has 557 receiving yards, 767 rushing yards, and 51 passing yards. He threw his first and only career touchdown pass — a 3-yarder to Dustin Keller — in a 38-14 win at Buffalo last October.

He's also a special teams threat in returns and coverage. Last season, Smith returned two kickoffs for touchdowns.

It's that type of versatility that should complement Bills coach Chan Gailey's wide-open offensive philosophy.

"I think it's a great fit," Bartelstein said. "He'll bring a real dynamic factor to that offense."

Bartelstein added his client was open to re-signing with the Jets, but knew he would have to wait while New York focused on attempting to sign high profile free agent cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha.

"The more he thought about it, the more he thought what a great opportunity this was," Bartelstein said. "It was time for a change and him wanting to be able to control his situation, other than waiting for something he couldn't control."

Smith was excited with the deal.

"Very glad to be joining the Bills!!" Smith wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press. "Excited about the opportunity to play for Coach Gailey and the entire Bills organization!"

Under NFL rules applying to all veteran free agents, Smith isn't allowed to sign his contract until Friday. That's the same day Bills players are set to report for the start of training camp in suburban Rochester.

Entering his second year as coach, Gailey toyed with using the wildcat during training camp last summer. The Bills hardly used it during the season. Smith's presence is expected to change that, joining a roster filled with speedy threats, including running back C.J. Spiller and receiver Roscoe Parrish.


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