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Tampa Bay Buccaneers trade tight end Alex Smith to New England Patriots for 2010 draft pick

Tight end Alex Smith, scoring a touchdown for Tampa Bay against the Falcons two seasons ago, will face the Bucs this fall as a member of the Patriots. The Bucs get a draft pick in 2010.

BRENDAN FITTERER | Times (2007)

Tight end Alex Smith, scoring a touchdown for Tampa Bay against the Falcons two seasons ago, will face the Bucs this fall as a member of the Patriots. The Bucs get a draft pick in 2010.

TAMPA — At least Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Alex Smith didn't lose his trip to England.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers traded Alex Smith to the Patriots on Thursday for an undisclosed draft pick in 2010. Tampa Bay plays New England on Oct. 25 in London.

Alex Smith, a third-round pick out of Stanford in 2005, became expendable when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers traded two draft choices (second round in 2009, fifth in 2010) to the Browns for 25-year-old tight end Kellen Winslow in February.

Smith, 26, had one year remaining on his contract and was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2009 season.

In four seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he played in 58 games and caught 129 passes for 1,252 yards and 11 touchdowns.

In 2005, he led all rookie tight ends with a career-high 41 receptions for 367 yards and two touchdowns. But the 6-foot-4, 258-pound Smith was plagued by a series of leg and ankle injuries and missed at least two games in each of the past three seasons.

Last year, Smith played in 14 games and caught 21 passes for 250 yards and three touchdowns.

The Bucs have three veteran tight ends — Winslow, who is expected to be a featured receiver next season; Jerramy Stevens, who led all Bucs tight ends in 2008 with 36 receptions for 397 yards and two TDs; and John Gilmore, who is primarily a blocking tight end.

The Bucs attempted to trade Smith before the last weekend's draft but apparently had to settle for what's believed to be a second-day pick in 2010.

Around the NFL

Bengals: Kicker Shayne Graham, the team's all-time field-goal percentage leader at 87.5, signed his one-year, $2.483 million franchise tender, ESPN.com reported.

Broncos: After drafting Georgia running back Knowshon Moreno, the team thinned its backfield by releasing Selvin Young.

Saints: The team and the state of Louisiana announced a new partnership that will continue the club's commitment to the state through 2025 and create a Sports Development District. Gov. Bobby Jindal said that compared with the current deal with the Saints, the new deal will save the state more than $280 million over the next 17 years.

Jurisprudence: A San Diego judge ruled that former NFL running back Lawrence Phillips, 33, must stand trial on eight felony charges for two alleged assaults on his girlfriend in 2005. He could face up to 25 years in prison if convicted. Phillips is serving a 10-year sentence for hitting three teenagers with his car in Los Angeles.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers trade tight end Alex Smith to New England Patriots for 2010 draft pick 04/30/09 [Last modified: Friday, May 1, 2009 9:54am]

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