Eagles sign kick returner Brad Smith

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Eagles sign kick returner Brad Smith
November 12, 2013, 10:00 am
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Return specialist Brad Smith has returned four career kicks for touchdowns. (AP)

Updated: 12:53 p.m.

The Eagles on Tuesday signed versatile return specialist Brad Smith and released wide receiver B.J Cunningham.

CBS Sports first reported the team's plan to sign him.

Smith, who wore No. 16 at practice Tuesday afternoon, has also played quarterback and wide receiver in the NFL. He had played for the Bills since 2011 but suffered a rib injury in the preseason and was recently released. 

The 29-year-old Smith caught 14 passes for 152 yards and two touchdowns last season with the Bills. He also ran 14 times for 116 yards and a touchdown. On special teams, he averaged 27.6 yards per kickoff return. From 2009-12, Smith had four touchdown returns.

Damaris Johnson started the year as the Eagles' primary kick returner but struggled at times with his decisions and sustained an ankle injury that has since prompted the coaches to have cornerback Brandon Boykin take the returns.

In eight seasons with the Jets and Bills, Smith had 970 rushing yards and a 7.3 per-carry average with four touchdowns, 101 receptions for 949 yards and five touchdowns, a 25.7 average on 107 kickoff returns with four more touchdowns. He also completed four of nine passes for 51 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.

Smith's 7.35 rushing is the highest in NFL history among players with at least 100 career carries. Michael Vick is second at 7.10. His four career kickoff returns are tied for 17th-most in NFL history. But since 2009, only Percy Harvin of the Vikings (five) has more.

Smith's best season was 2010, his last season with the Jets. He ran for 299 yards on just 38 carries, and his 28.6 average on 50 kick returns was second-highest in the NFL behind David Reed of the Ravens, who had a 29.3 average.

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