According to ESPN insider Mike Reiss, Field Yates, the New England Patriots agreed to a deal with veteran defensive end Will Smith on Monday, the team announced. No word of the deal or prices as of yet.
Smith, who will turn 33 in July, has spent his entire nine-year career with the New Orleans Saints, helping to win Superbowl 44 during the 2009 season.
Smith has totaled 67.5 sacks in 139 career games, has averaged 6 sacks per season in the three years that followed the 2009 season, recording 58 total tackles in 2012. He had 13 sacks during the 2009 season.
After suffering a knee injury during the 2013 preseason, Smith missed the entire 2013 season.
In eight career playoff games, Smith totaled 24 tackles without one quarterback sack, a statistic likely to change come 2015.
At 6-foot-3, 282 pounds, Smith will join a revamped pass-rushing force that includes Chandler Jones, and veteran stalwarts Tommy Kelly, Andre Carter and Rob Ninkovich. Bringing Smith aboard will add to the revamped Patriots defense that has potential to be top notch come 2014. Smith is an addition that may New England defense first mentality a true genius move by coach Belichick.
'Defense Wins Championships' motto is actually true once again with the Patriots. After a plethora of free agent pickups have been at the defensive position, the Patriots looked prime to be in position to have a stellar 2014 season. The Patriots' biggest AFC competition Denver Broncos developed a defense first mentality after being walloped by the Seattle Seahawks to the tune of a 43-8 thrashing.
During the 2014 offseason, the Patriots have signed cornerback Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner, re-signed veteran safety Patrick Chung and linebacker Josh Hull to their core group of defensive players that include Vince Wilfork, Jerod Mayo, Devin McCourty, , Alfonso Dennard, Chandler Jones, Chris Jones, Tommy Kelly and Andre Carter and rookie standout cornerback, Logan Ryan.