Miami Dolphins To Work Out Pro Bowl Return Specialist Clifton Smith

Chris J. NelsonSenior Writer ISeptember 8, 2010

TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 21: Running back Clifton Smith #22 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers returns a kick against the San Diego Chargers at Raymond James Stadium on December 21, 2008 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Possibly not content with their current kickoff and punt returners, the Miami Dolphins will work out Pro Bowl return specialist Clifton Smith Wednesday, Sept. 8.

Smith, who was waived by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during final cuts Saturday, worked out for the Green Bay Packers today and reportedly has at least a few offers on the table.

A member of the same undrafted class that produced Dolphins' wide receiver Davone Bess and placekicker Dan Carpenter, Smith initially Buccaneers as a rookie free agent in 2008 after playing collegiality at Fresno State.

Smith went to the Pro Bowl as a rookie after averaging 27.6 yards per kickoff return, including a 97-yard return for a touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs. He also ranked eighth in the NFL that season with a 14.1 average returning punts.

Smith improved his kick return average to 29.1 yards in 2009, but appeared in just 11 games due to a few concussions suffered during the season.

The 5'9", 190 pound Smith's durability is a concern after last season and he has also had trouble hanging onto the ball with seven fumbles in two seasons.

Nevertheless, he's a skilled home-run threat as a returner, which is something the Dolphins have been severely lacking in recent years outside of Ted Ginn, Jr.

Rookie fifth-round pick Nolan Carroll did well returning kicks in the preseason, but doesn't have much experience and might actually be needed on defense this season with Will Allen out for the season.

Patrick Cobbs and Bess are currently listed as the Dolphins' kickoff and punt returners, respectively, though neither is a threat to take one back. Bess averaged just 7.5 yards per punt return in 2009 and is easily one of the worst at the position in the NFL.

While Smith doesn't offer anything on offense and has a few concerning aspects to his game, there is no doubt his addition would significantly upgrade the Dolphins' return game.

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Chris J. Nelson majored in journalism at Georgia State University and is currently a programming coordinator for Turner Sports in Atlanta. He operates his own Miami Dolphins website, The Miami Dolphins Spotlight, and he can be followed on Twitter here.

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