Earlier this offseason we had unofficially stated that Smith would return and be a part of the Buccaneers defense for the 2017 season. Our mention came shortly after the 49ers made a play for him but opted out of taking him on. On Wednesday, it has become official that Smith has signed his RFA tender which will pay him close to $1.8 million for the upcoming year.
Smith was originally a UDFA in 2012 and signed by the Dolphins before playing for the Bills and for the Jets. He eventually landed in Tampa in prior to the start of the 2014 season. In 2015 He played in 12 games for Tampa in which he recorded seven sacks and three forced fumbles. His contract ended after 2015 and was again brought back on a one-year contract in 2016 when he was injured and missed the season.
Smith, if healthy, will solidify the outside pass rush adding strength and depth to the defensive end position.