The draft is still a few days away, but the New England Patriots have started to make some moves in advance of the biggest event of the NFL offseason.
According to Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston, New England will be signing defensive end Will Smith.
Filed to ESPN with @FieldYates: Patriots are signing veteran DE Will Smith, formerly of the Saints, per source.
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) May 5, 2014
Personally, I like this move. Yes, Smith is nearing the end of his career, and he missed the entire 2013 season due to injury. But this move is a low risk, high reward type of situation for Bill Belichick and company. Smith was a terrific pass rusher in his prime, and if he can turn back the clock one more time in 2014, the Pats will have gained a solid veteran presence out on the edge.
Rob Ninkovich and Chandler Jones are firmly entrenched as the starters at defensive end, but New England needs someone that can come in and give them a rest. If all works well, Smith will be able to pressure the quarterback a little bit, which is one of the few things missing from this new Pats defensive unit.
Smith has totaled 459 tackles, 67.5 sacks, and 20 forced fumbles in his 11 year career.