#Raiders to sign TE Lee Smith. Really good blocking TE. 3 years, over $9 M.— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) March 10, 2015
Smith spent the last four seasons serving as the Bills' blocking tight end, having come to Buffalo as a rookie in 2011 after the New England Patriots - who made him a fifth-round pick out of Marshall - placed him on waivers. In his four seasons with the Bills, Smith played a bit role on offense as a blocker while catching 20 passes for 144 yards and three touchdowns.
The Bills are undergoing an offensive transformation under new coaches Rex Ryan and Greg Roman, who are installing a run-heavy system in Buffalo. That seems ideal for a player of Smith's talents, but the Bills are dead set on improving at that position - hence their full-court press on Charles Clay - and were never going to pay a reserve tight end $3 million per season.