FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 11: Richard Medlin #37 of the New England Patriots celebrates his touchdown with teammate Lee Smith #80 of the New England Patriots in the fourth quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars on August 11, 2011 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The New England Patriots defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 47-12. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
In order to claim Smith the Bills had to release a member of their 53-man squad. UDFA TE Zack Pianalto was cut in order for the transactions to take place. He will become eligible for the team's practice squad after he clears waivers.
Smith was the Patriots' fifth-round selection in 2011 out of Marshall. He was rated one spot below Pianalto by Dan Kadar of Mocking the Draft prior to the draft.
Here is SB Nation Boston's report on Smith's release:
The release of Smith comes to really no surprise, as he progressively lost more and more playing time. The fifth-round pick out of Marshall started out camp very strong, getting a lot of playing time behind Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. Smith then fell lower in the team’s depth chart.
Smith had 38 receptions for 358 yards and 3 touchdowns last year at Marshall.