The Buccaneers have signed return specialist Clifton Smith to his tender offer. Smith was an exclusive rights free agent due to being originally signed as an undrafted free agent out of Fresno State. Smith made the Pro Bowl for his rookie campaign in 2008 when he returned a punt and a kick for a touchdown.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed exclusive rights free agent Clifton Smith to his one-year tender offer on Tuesday afternoon. The Bucs originally signed Smith, 24, as an undrafted free agent out of Fresno State in 2008. Smith (5-9, 190) was on the Buccaneers practice squad for part of the 2008 season. After Dexter Jackson failed as a returner partway through the season, Smith replaced him and went on to make the Pro Bowl after a stellar nine games.
In 20 career games he has returned 67 kickoffs for 1,894 yards and averaged 28.3 yards per kick return. Smith returned a kick 97-yards for a touchdown at Kansas City in 2008. On 46 career punt returns Smith has averaged 12.1 yards per return including a 70-yard touchdown return at Detroit in 2008. As a running back Smith has seen limited time. He has 12 carries for 47 yards and three fumbles.
Last season Smith played in 11 games before ending the season on injured reserve after sustaining two concussions. Both concussions came against the Carolina Panthers in Week 6 and Week 13. He averaged 29.1 yards per kick return and 14.1 yards per punt return. Both averages were better than his averages in his Pro Bowl season in 2008 when he averaged 10 yards per punt return and 27.6 yards per kick return.
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