When the Bills signed wide receiver/quarterback/returner Brad Smith to a four-year, $15 million contract last year, fans were torn.
On the one hand, the move indicated that the Bills had big plans for a dynamic weapon. With head coach Chan Gailey running the offense, it was easy to get excited about the potential.
On the other hand, $15 million over four years is a hefty price to pay for a situational offensive player.
To make matters worse, because Smith missed out on the entire offseason last year due to the lockout, the Bills could never really find a role for him. As a result, he never really found his niche, nor did he get a real opportunity to do so.
He attempted just one pass in 2011, which went for an interception. He ran the ball 20 times for 87 yards and a touchdown. And he caught 23 passes for 240 yards and a touchdown.
Last year, he made $2 million.
In 2012, Smith is schedule to make a base salary of $2.25 million. Though Bills lead journalist Chris Brown reported on BuffaloBills.com that the team plans to expand Smith’s role in 2012 (and that there is, in fact, a plan), Bills fans will want to see it to believe it before they justify the big money Smith will make this year and beyond.
The Buffalo News’ Tim Graham tweeted in June that Smith will be the Bills’ third quarterback this year. That means his role will primarily be as a gadget player and a Wildcat weapon.
There’s no doubt that Smith is a versatile offensive player, and he very well could be an integral part of Gailey’s offense. But until he starts contributing consistently, this contract screams overpaid.