Brad Smith runs, passes, catches, and returns. He does a little bit of everything, and although kick returning is his specialty, he can’t be defined solely by one specific offensive role.
He’s–dare I say it–a little gimmicky, but that’s not a bad thing. Gimmicks are the added wrinkle that can push a borderline contender into the Super Bowl, and they provide that surprise explosion of speed at a key moment. They’re a quick source of energy, and can promptly place an offense in a position to score, whether it’s through a kick return, or a wildcat play.
The Bills aren’t a championship team. They’re not even close. But now they have their gimmick in the form of Smith after he signed a four-year deal worth $15 million today. For Buffalo, Smith may not be the same gimmick he was for the Jets, instead getting a larger role in the possible further implementation of the wildcat and/or pistol offense.
Smith was a quarterback in college at Missouri and became the first player in Division I history to pass for 8,000 yards and run for 4,000. That versatility morphed into his utility role in the NFL, and last year he had 299 rushing yards, but excelled as a return man with 1,432 yards and two touchdowns. His presence will give opposing defensive coordinators another weapon to consider when scheming to drop back in coverage against a passing offense that averaged less than 200 yards per game last year.
For the Jets, Smith was a luxury. For the Bills, he’ll be a catalyst.
GLS MOVE RATING: 7/10