St. Louis Rams Free Agency: Steve Smith Is a Great Signing for Sam Bradford
The St. Louis Rams have agreed to terms with ex-New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Steve Smith, according to their official website. The signing is great news for third-year quarterback Sam Bradford.
Smith suffered a serious ACL injury during the 2010 season and has struggled to regain top form ever since. Prior to his injury, though, Smith had established himself as the best young possession receiver in the league.
In 2009, as a member of the New York Giants, he caught 107 passes for 1,220 yards and seven touchdowns. Smith established a knack for consistently finding and exploiting the gaps in zone coverage.
The 26-year-old remains adept at going across the middle, possessing deceptive speed and excellent hands. Although he tallied only 11 receptions for 124 yards last season in Philadelphia, Smith could be a key player for the Rams.
The 5'11", 195-pounder will give Bradford a prolific underneath weapon and a reliable outlet in pressure situations. Bradford struggled without a player in this mold during 2011, thanks to the absence of Danny Amendola.
Bradford has always worked best with diminutive pass-catchers such as Amendola and Brandon Lloyd. Acquiring Smith gives him the kind of target he can flourish with.
The Rams still need to add more firepower to their passing game, specifically a more explosive, vertical threat.
Smith's signing does not rule out selecting Justin Blackmon with the sixth overall pick in April's draft. However, signing the 2009 Pro Bowler is an excellent way to begin equipping Bradford with better weapons.
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