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Patriots signing veteran defensive end Will Smith

Will Smith AP

The Patriots have made hay by taking on veterans, and they’re giving it another shot with a productive pass-rusher.

According to Mike Reiss and Field Yates of ESPNBoston.com, the Patriots are signing former Saints defensive end Will Smith.

The 32-year-old Smith visited the Patriots in early April, and it was clear they were at the top of his list. Of course, they were his only reported visit, which makes it easier.

Smith has had a couple of double-digit sack seasons, but he was going to be miscast in the Saints’ 3-4 last year. That made his release this offseason unsurprising, even if he hadn’t torn his ACL in training camp.

How he fits into a situational role with the Patriots, and how much gas he has left in the tank, remains to be seen.

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29 Responses to “Patriots signing veteran defensive end Will Smith”
  1. theflyingelvis says: May 5, 2014 2:42 PM

    I’m glad they signed him, provided he’s got at least SOMETHING left in the tank. The Pats can use some DL depth.

  2. rc33 says: May 5, 2014 2:43 PM

    He should provide depth & a decent situational End behind Ninkovich and Chandler Jones. Those two took 95% of the snaps at DE last season; far too much.

  3. pastabelly101 says: May 5, 2014 2:44 PM

    Great veteran signing if 100%

  4. claymatthewshairplugs says: May 5, 2014 2:44 PM

    After that flop known as After Earth I’m sure Will Smith needs the money.

    In all seriousness, NE always does a great job picking up these veterans for cheap and those guys usually end up playing well.

  5. ourempirestrikesback says: May 5, 2014 2:44 PM

    Jones and Ninkovich need someone to give them a break. Both of those guys played way too many snaps last year and you could see that they started to get worn down in December/January.

    I hope Smith is part of a deep rotation and not viewed as the entire solution for depth behind the starters. Maybe Buchanon can step up and contribute as well. Either way, the Patriots need to add some beef up front in the draft. A DT (not Hageman mock drafters) or a DE seems like the best option for the Patriots early in the draft.

  6. readysethike says: May 5, 2014 2:47 PM

    when he plays and he’s healthy he is a beast. hopefully he has an Andre Carter type year with the Pats

  7. mdd913 says: May 5, 2014 2:47 PM

    Productive? Will Smith? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  8. vikesr4reel says: May 5, 2014 2:50 PM

    No body is mad the patriots won some SB,
    They are mad they had to cheat to do it, and then keep putting that coaches name next to the best coaches all time.
    Why is that guy still allowed in the NFL?
    Then the Hernandez thing is another issue.

  9. afcdomination says: May 5, 2014 2:59 PM

    good signing. under the radar move that if it doesn’t work, won’t matter. if he doesn’t get hurt and is in shape, he can be a really solid player even at 32.

  10. barsfordays says: May 5, 2014 3:00 PM

    I never knew the Fresh Prince played football…..

  11. 6ball says: May 5, 2014 3:06 PM

    .

    There’s no downside to bringing him in and give him an opportunity to compete. Some of these veteran signings pay good dividends. Others not so much.

    .

  12. jimb031 says: May 5, 2014 3:11 PM

    Did he say “Yo homes, to New England!” when he signed?

  13. BigAlHeBDMan says: May 5, 2014 3:11 PM

    Good luck to Will Smith. Thanks for the memories from a Saints fan.

  14. blakeinfla says: May 5, 2014 3:15 PM

    Decent signing if healthy he could be a great pick up. I thought he was older for some reason.

  15. metitometin says: May 5, 2014 3:17 PM

    What defensive player wouldn’t want to play for Belichick. He is a defensive mastermind.

  16. boisestatewhodat says: May 5, 2014 3:21 PM

    He was a great Saint and the Pats will benefit from having him. He’s aging and prone to injury but if he can stay healthy, he’ll most certainly contribute! We will miss you Will. Looking forward to seeing you return home and retire as a Saint!

  17. bigbamboom1 says: May 5, 2014 3:21 PM

    I think signing this guy and keeping big Vinnie means the Patriots will be targeting Tight Ends, Running Backs and Offensive Linemen in this draft. IMO there are some real quality guys that will fall to them in each of the first 5 rounds in those positions just based on needs of other teams. I think stud D linemen & Linebackers are going to go early and in huge volume in the first 3 rounds. Along with Wide Receivers and the stray QB. So I look for the Patriots to load up on D-Line from the waiver wire as team camps progress. Plus they already have good young talent there. This guy is a very good pickup if he stays healthy. We’ll know in December.

  18. philwauke says: May 5, 2014 3:29 PM

    His tank was empty 3 years ago

  19. hugeredskinsfan says: May 5, 2014 3:45 PM

    Will Smith is a monster… this was indeed a very good signing. How was he still available?

  20. rob471773 says: May 5, 2014 5:10 PM

    Great signing for the Patriots, sure Smith has lost a step, but consider the role their asking him to fill. He’s going to be a situational pass rusher to spell Jones and Ninkovich. He’ll give Jones/Ninkovich much needed breaks, so they should be fresher, more effective and less likely to get hurt. If one of them does go down, they at least have a servicable DE on the roster who can play starter reps in a pinch.

  21. rob471773 says: May 5, 2014 5:14 PM

    Pats are following the defensive model set forth by Seattle. Big physical corners (Revis/Browner) and a rotation of edge rushers who can provide each other rest (Jones, Ninkovich, Smith, + whoever else they add in the draft)

    I like where the Patriots are heading, it’s a sign that their finally adapting their dated defense to todays NFL.

    Long gone are they days of a 3-4 defense based on gap control/responsibility. That defense is great in a more run friendly league.

    It 2014, get big CB’s who can cover and a front 4 that can apply pressure.

  22. mdd913 says: May 5, 2014 5:18 PM

    You guys are all off the reservation. Will Smith is old, fat, slow and washed up. He hasn’t been good in like 4 years.

  23. thewizardsrevenge says: May 5, 2014 6:10 PM

    It 2014, get big CB’s who can cover and a front 4 that can apply pressure

    After the Giants last 2 Super Bowl wins, followed by the Seahawks making the Broncos look like the 85 Pats, I would invest heavily in D line if I were a GM.

    Keep heat on the QB for 4 quarters can beat even the greatest of them.

  24. bigbamboom1 says: May 5, 2014 6:13 PM

    Don’t forget the youngster Buchanan at DE from last year. That kid is explosive. He was a monster Pass Rusher last preseason. But he never really got the big break during the season. Odds are they are going to unleash that kid after a year of learning and growing in their system. I am as excited about him as any of the young guns.

  25. bcgreg says: May 5, 2014 6:34 PM

    His life just got flipped turned upside down.

  26. nomad57 says: May 5, 2014 8:09 PM

    Solid pick up. He may have lost a step rushing the QB, but he can still do it in spurts. Very heady and a good run defender at DE.

  27. cliverush says: May 6, 2014 11:11 AM

    He will compete with Kelly for the job. Siliga should be a starter this year with Vince. Pats need an inside LB.

  28. 87hollywoodhorn says: May 6, 2014 11:27 AM

    He is not injury prone! This was his first injury, minor or major, over his entire career!
    He has lost athleticism and is vulnerable when having to make plays laterally. But his motor is tremendous, hes short 6’3″ but very strong and just beats up left tackles.
    The Pats should try giving him time over extended series to reap that benefit. And hes much more dynamic at around 275 lbs. Gregg Williams beefed him up to 290 in 2009, and while he did get stronger he sacrificed a lot of speed. I know he was around 280 at the start of last Saints training camp.
    Superb addition. Good luck to Big Will SB 44 Champ, from the whole Who Dat Nation

  29. mattryansnoodlearm says: May 6, 2014 8:48 PM

    Always been solid against the run, but not bringing much to the table as a pass rusher at this point in his career.

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