Fifth-year TE Alex Smith posted a career-best 41 receptions in 2005
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers traded tight end Alex Smith to the New England Patriots on Thursday in exchange for an undisclosed pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.
The Buccaneers were dealing from a position of strength, having seriously bolstered their tight end position in late February with the trade for former Cleveland tight end Kellen Winslow.
Tampa Bay's tight end corps also includes one of the league's best blockers at the position in John Gilmore – a priority signing in free agency last year – and pass-catching threat Jerramy Stevens, who was re-signed in March after becoming an unrestricted free agent. New Offensive Coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski has spoken about his excitement over deploying both Winslow and Stevens on the field at the same time.
A third-round draft pick in 2005, Smith has played four seasons for the Buccaneers. Last year, he caught 21 passes for 250 yards and three touchdowns. Smith played in a total of 58 games as a Buccaneer, starting 43.
The Buccaneers obviously intend for Winslow to fill that starting role in 2009 and in the seasons to come. The sixth overall pick in the 2004 draft by Cleveland, Winslow has caught 219 passes for 2,459 yards and 11 touchdowns despite missing roughly two-and-a-half seasons to injury. He has twice eclipsed 80 catches in a season, including an 82-catch, 1,106-yard season in 2007 that earned him his first Pro Bowl honors.