Eagles Sign WR Smith, Cut Cunningham

The Eagles announced today that they’ve signed WR Brad Smith and released WR B.J. Cunningham.

Smith, 29, was a free agent. He’d been with the Buffalo Bills since 2011 and caught 14 balls for 152 yards and a pair of touchdowns last season. He also ran 14 times for 116 yards and a score. Smith suffered a rib injury in the team’s preseason finale and was released on Friday.

Smith’s real strength is on special teams. He averaged 27.6 yards per kickoff return last season and had four returns for touchdowns from 2009 to 2012. He has only returned two punts in seven NFL seasons.




Smith might be better at this point in his career as a special-teams coverage guy. He tied for the team lead last season with nine special teams tackles, according to Pro Football Focus.

Damaris Johnson had been handling kickoffs for the Eagles, averaging 25.9 yard per return. But he suffered a an ankle injury, and Brandon Boykin has taken over.

The Eagles currently have six wide receivers on their roster: DeSean Jackson, Riley Cooper, Jason Avant, Jeff Maehl, Johnson and Smith.

Cunningham had been inactive the last two games and had not played any snaps this season.

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  • Brent E. Sulecki

    lets go!!!

  • Sean

    Probably a better backup QB than Barkley, too.

  • Adam

    special teams, special teams, special teams.

    • Chris

      also maybe a better emergency QB than Casey

  • nicksaenz1

    Can we move on from DJ2 already?

  • levdog

    Like the move, one of the weak areas of the team has been kickoff returns, and this strengthens it which will aid us in our move to win this division.

  • Will

    KR/QB/WR-
    Measurables
    4.46 40 Yard Dash.
    39½ Inch Vertical.
    7.01 Three-Cone Drill.
    4.33 Short Shuttle.
    10-foot-8 Broad Jump.-Date of birth: December 12, 1983 (age 29)
    Place of birth: Youngstown, Ohio
    Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
    Weight: 213 lb (97 kg)On November 8, 2013 the Buffalo Bills released Brad Smith off of their injured-reserve list.(Ribs)

    • Johnny_P

      He still has ALOT of tread on his tires for being 29. Good ‘impending’ pick-up.

  • Johnny_P

    This guy is a special teams technician, if anything, he can provide some more fire to the group and leadership. Just another piece Chip can play with…

  • Eagledelphia

    couldn’t be more excited about a signing Smith is one of my favorite college players of all time (I’m from Missouri) and he can help this team in many different phases

  • Broadcasting Wisdom

    I wonder if helped recruit Maclin to Missouri or if Maclin has any memories of watching him dominate at MIssouri when he was looking at colleges. Too bad he apparently can’t handle punt return duties too.

    Just a few weeks ago so many posters wanted DJ2 to get snaps over Riley, now Riley is playing like a pro bowler for past 6 weeks and DJ2 might be out of a job completely. Glad we have Chip making these decisions and not the 24/7 peanut gallery.

    • BrickSquadMonopoly

      6 weeks? or 2? Get the facts straight peanut.

      • theycallmerob

        you were saying, cashew?

        Catches Targets Yards YPC TDs
        First 5 Games 8 18 93 11.6 1
        Last 5 Games 20 29 462 23.1 6

        • aub32

          This is what I mean by saying some of you just love manipulating statistics. Take out the performances from the last two games. That would put him at only 2 TDs through the first 8 games 20 total catches (2.5 per game) and 314 yards (less than 40 yards a game). That doesn’t look like probowl stats to me.

          • theycallmerob

            Take out the performances from the last two games.
            talk about manipulation. Those #’s are from Sheil’s article Sunday night.
            I’m not making the point he’s a pro bowler. But you don’t just get to throw out his 2 best games; it’s a steep exponential curve over the last 5 compared to the start. If we take out his 2 worst as well (the ones against the Giants, going back 6 weeks now), he still averaged 5-104-.5 against the cowboys and bucs, plus the big games against OAK and GB.
            We can cherry-pick all day. Pro Bowl is excessive, but that is definitely WR2 production.
            Hard to say what changed between the beginning of the year and recently, of course….

          • Tom W

            Agreed. Foles begin playing qb. That is what changed.

          • aub32

            Rob don’t be dense. The prior post said Riley has looked like a pro bowler the last 6 weeks. Someone disputed only the last 2. So obviously you can’t count the last 2 and average the numbers. The last 2 games count, but if you include those numbers, they give a very misleading view of his performance prior to the last two weeks. Read don’t just attack.

          • theycallmerob

            the irony in what you just wrote is astounding

          • aub32

            are you saying cooper looked like a pro bowler prior to the last two weeks?

          • theycallmerob

            yes, exactly; in fact, that was the entirety of my original post.
            As broadcast wisdom also noted, the last 5 games (only one of which, the NYG, was a stinker) extrapolates out to a 1492 yd, 19 touchdown season across the year. if those aren’t WR2 numbers (let alone pro bowl, though I didn’t make that comment originally and actually backed off from it), then I don’t know what is.

          • Adam

            Hahaha, this is really funny.

            “You guys sure love to manipulate stats. Now.. watch me manipulate these stats.”

          • aub32

            How did I manipulate the stats. The post above me said he played like a pro bowler the last two games but not the games prior. So why would I include the last two games?

        • BrickSquadMonopoly

          Ya I guess I was right…last 2 games almond.

          • theycallmerob

            Guess you missed my entire post? can’t take out 2 games and say “look, see, I’m right! If I ignore what doesn’t agree with my point, it never happened!”

      • Broadcasting Wisdom

        I knew i liked you, Rob. Past 5 weeks extrapolated would give Riley 1492 yards, 19 touchdowns, which would have put him 4th and 1st in NFL last year, respectively. Heck, even with Vick unable to find him the first four games, he still has a chance to lead the league in touchdowns by season’s end (only 2 back from Megatron). He might catch him this week if the Redskins don’t watch out!

        • theycallmerob

          Bingo; look at Dez’s 1st/2nd half last year. That’s 2 different players. Every WR has bad games, and in the past 6 weeks Riley’s had two duds against the Giants (and Foles didn’t play both games in their entirety).

          • Andy124

            Didn’t he go 5 for 88 against the Giants with Barkley throwing to him?

          • theycallmerob

            no, total against the NYG this year was 2-13-0 (that’s 2 games!) He put up goose eggs in the 1st one (5th game of year)
            The 4 games before that, avg. 2-24-.25 (1 TD across first 4)

            http://espn.go.com/nfl/player/gamelog/_/id/13225/riley-cooper
            But I guess that’s cherrypicking

          • Andy124

            ok, I was thinking of the Dallas game where he was 6-88.

            If only we could identify a different between unproductive Coop and productive Coop. They probably just tweaked the formula for his personalized smoothie. I guess we’ll never really know.

          • cliff henny

            my guess the difference between unproductive and productive Cooper is…KELLY! ten bucks he signs in somewhere else and ’12 version shows back up

    • Tom W

      Correct about peanut gallery not knowing more than the coach we play millions of dollars too and who has 25 years of coaching experience.

      And its not just past two games w Riles … look a the Tampa game as well. Its basically whenever Foles plays because he looks for Riles more and lets him make plays in coverage.

  • Token

    Well cant hurt I guess. They are getting nothing out of the 4th WR spot. Chip hates Johnson. Would guess he will be cut to make room.

    Hopefully Smith can still return kicks well. We havent had anything there for years.

    • JofreyRice

      I’d guess Cunningham gets the axe. Can’t play ST at all.

      • Token

        o yea, completely forgot he was on the team.

        • cliff henny

          is he active gameday?

          • anon

            no

          • cliff henny

            so if he’s here to return kickoffs, which boykins can do but putting pretty valuable player in high risk, needs to replace active guy. dj2 seems like logical guy getting moved. thought kelly use him more, guess avants hands and blocking won out.

          • Token

            They would just not activate Johnson. Boykin sucks at returns.

          • cliff henny

            lol…if everyone sucked as much as you say, eagles should be 0-10 with 10 blowouts

          • Token

            So you think Boykin is a good returner? Ok. Agree to disagree. Doesnt mean Boykin sucks as a corner. He just is awful as a returner.

          • theycallmerob

            He’s had 2 ATT this year; one went for 41 (should have been TD, tripped over own player). 2-50= 25 avg. Not that bad, at least better than last year. But I wouldn’t call that “awful”

          • Token

            Ok, ill pretend last year didnt happen. Obviously the team doesnt think very highly of him as a return man.

          • theycallmerob

            I don’t think it’s that; they think highly enough that he took over for DJ2. but not high enough for him to risk injury (he is no devin hester). Chip is all about risk/reward
            there is no depth behind him; who else would play the slot? not to mention he’s the best DB overall. why not take a flyer on a guy who will probably have nothing more than ST responsibilities?

          • cliff henny

            think boykins is fine, and think smith is certainly an upgrade. but sucks, no

      • Richard Colton

        called it. +1

    • Tom W

      Wow you are so cheery. Crying about 4th wr spot. How many teams get anything at all from their 4th wr spot? And where do you get off saying Chip hates johnson … maybe he just cant block or get separation or remember plays…I think those reasons are more sensical than saying the coach hates him. That is what my 12 yr old nephew said about his freshman basketball coach. Dont know what you guys saw about Johnson anyway. he sucks on special teams and hasn’t shown squat w the snaps he got or in the summer in preseason.

      • JofreyRice

        Cut us some slack, we’re all drunk and vomiting on ourselves, it’s hard to see things as clearly as you do.

  • TheCatalyst

    Time for Chip to unveil the wildcat IZR with a bubble screen option!

  • CJ

    Soon as Buffalo cut him, I figured it was just a matter of time before we brought him in, provided he was healthy. I love this move.

  • Dilwala_G

    Is no one a little curious/concerned about why Buffalo is releasing him? I don’t recall them having the league’s best special teams or wide receivers, and Doug Marrone seems like a pretty smart/good coach. Just wondering if there is something we don’t know. But likely a better shot than BJ Cunningham and if he replaces DJ2 on special teams, would be an upgrade. Feels like a long time since preseason, when DJ2 was playing really well.

    • Adam

      It’s not exactly an all-in move. If it works it works, if it doesn’t well, then it doesn’t. low risk, low to medium reward.

      • Dilwala_G

        Very true. BJ Cunningham may even still be available if they don’t like Brad Smith after a week or two

    • CJ

      money’s always a factor, injury, and they have a couple guys that can fill his spot suitably. We have the cap room, he’s seemingly healthy, and we need the help in ST. It’s worth a shot for Philly to see what he still has, might not be much. But you have to think Smith takes one look at Riley freaking Cooper’s numbers this season and started drooling about what he could do in this system if he gets a shot.

  • Will

    Is it Sunday yet? Can’t wait Big game at home against an improved Redskin squad…Fly EAGLES Fly

    • Richard Colton

      notice how they made Manning’s jersey a little higher than FOles? No respect from the league.

      • Chris

        Nick Foles: 6’6″
        Peyton Manning: 6’5″

        Mannings jersey approximately one inch HIGHER instead of lower. I smell a conspiracy theory here somewhere.

      • Will

        Foles is closer to the fore front of the display case….

        • mgrisez

          what i want to know is who’s shoe is in front

          • Will

            This is what the Eagles mailed in to the HOF, the gray Nike stripe would indicate Foles cleats…

    • GEAGLE

      Omg I can’t wait to watch FOles torch the skins secondary at home..he will look off those safeties all day and torch these whack CBs

    • Mr. Wu

      already??? damn…hahaha thats awesome!! If that doesn’t give Nick some swagger IDK what will.

  • Will

    This Eagles Team is reminding of the Gnats when their Defense kicked in and they went on to win a Super Bowl…

    • Tom W

      Relax

      • A Roy

        Agree. Will should chill.

  • Andy124

    Random observation:

    Giants have the 3rd longest winning streak in the NFC and 4th longest in the NFL.

    • Adam

      non-random observation: Giants suck!

      hahahaha

    • EaglePete

      just read an article yesterday about how the Skins want to go on another win streak like last season……this after losing to the Vikings

      • Andy124

        Those whacky skins.

      • jshort

        Our guys thought they were going to go on one too, last year. Never happened!

  • Greg Rosen

    “Smith is the only player in NFL history to score touchdowns on a kickoff return, reception, rush, blocked punt return and pass.”

    • anon

      jack of all trades but master of none. He’s another Kinne.

  • Adam

    Texans release Ed Reed.. queue up the “Eagles should sign Reed” name recognition people.

    • cliff henny

      ummm…yeah! texans are done, just unloading salary. specially w/ wolff out

      • Adam

        I don’t think he has anything left to contribute. Doesn’t know the system so he won’t be a plug and play option. Guys north of 30 in the secondary… let alone 35.. thanks but no thanks. As bad as Chung is I don’t see Reed as an upgrade.

        • Token

          Its name association. Guy cant play now. Shell of his former self. Was riding the bench.

        • cliff henny

          unless he’s fallen off mountain this yr, and i avent watched a downof his, the guy in ’12 Balt is definitely upgrade for 6 games. i wont freak if they pass

          • Adam

            He’s pretty bad, like a dozen tackles all year, can’t find his way off the pine, then questioning the coaches last week. Bad signing for Houston.

          • cliff henny

            texans are a mess. he maybe packed it in, 35 yr old guy, made his money, sees sinking ship. hard time believing even 50% ed reed isnt better than injured chung. if price is right.

          • theycallmerob

            dunno who you watched, but he stunk last year too. Bmore made no effort to re-sign him. Doubt he got better after getting even older

          • cliff henny

            he wanted paid. i’m assuming vet mim for 6 games. has to be better than coleman worst case.

          • theycallmerob

            eh. at this point, he would never get on board with the physical and mental demands Kelly puts on players. would pry diss the smoothies. he always did his own thing and couldn’t keep his mouth shut in bmore, but his play trumped all of that. not anymore. at this point, I don’t see any reason to bring him in, he would never contribute or play especially not on ST. At least Kurt does that

          • JofreyRice

            Yeah, he’s not the same guy. HOF’r, sure, but about 2 stops past the end of the line.

          • cliff henny

            i know all that, and didnt think he was worth the money texans gave him either. also, doubt reed wants to be rental to the eagles getting paid league minimum, but chung isnt good. he is nfl average at best, and hurt to ‘boot. in end, doubt either party is interested.

          • Andy124

            Would he be worth vet minimum to basically serve as a player/coach from the bench? I wouldn’t do it, but it’s something to think about.

          • cliff henny

            we might feel alot differently if the chunger gets abuse all washington game.

          • Andy124

            Wasn’t Coleman’s 3-pick game against Washington? He’s a Redskin killer! (soooo non-PC). If Chung struggles, he’s our ace-in-the-hole.

    • GEAGLE

      Did they really?

    • BlindChow

      I think they had effectively benched him anyway. Then he started talking bad about the coaching…

    • EaglePete

      are you telling me Jeff Garcia, TO and Chad Johnson dont have something left, cmon. haha

  • cliff henny

    cunningham is one that got the ax

  • Greg

    Ed Reed getting the scissors?! We have that Texan connection….

  • Weapon Y

    I love the signing as long as Smith still has good speed. How great would it be to have a real threat at kick returner for once?