The New England Patriots have completed a trade for Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ tight end Alex Smith. The trade is for an undisclosed 2010 draft pick, according to an announcement by the team.
This trade should be for a later pick, so I like it. Smith isn’t exactly known for his blocking (although he isn’t particularly bad in this area), but rather for his receiving. Smith, who went to college at Stanford, joins a tight end group that includes Ben Watson, Chris Baker, David Thomas, Brad Listorti, and Tyson DeVree. Baker and Watson presumably have their spots locked down, so Smith could compete with David Thomas for the 3rd tight end spot (although DeVree could make the roster as an h-back).
Interestingly, Smith’s contract expires after 2009, as with every other tight end on the Patriots roster minus Chris Baker. I assume the Patriots want to see if Smith, whose catch total has fallen in each of his four seasons, can show something more than say David Thomas, who has also been a relative disappointment considering his pass-catching ability.