The Patriots have announced they have signed veteran defensive end Will Smith.
The signing was first reported by ESPN.
Filed to ESPN with @FieldYates: Patriots are signing veteran DE Will Smith, formerly of the Saints, per source.— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) May 5, 2014
The 33-year-old Smith has spent his first nine seasons in the NFL with the New Orleans Saints, recording 67.5 sacks in 139 career games. He had a career-high 13 sacks in 2009. Smith missed the entire 2013 season with a knee injury suffered in preseason.
According to the Globe's Ben Volin, Smith's signing could free up the Patriots to pick a defensive tackle early in the draft now that the pass-rushing Smith is in the fold.
Signing Will Smith should take the premium off #Patriots finding a DE early in NFL Draft. DT still a big priority— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) May 5, 2014