The New England Patriots released veteran cornerback Otis Smith today.
Smith, 38, had re-signed with the Patriots on April 13, 2004 after spending the 2003 season with the Detroit Lions. In 14 NFL seasons, Smith has recorded 525 total tackles, including 5.5 sacks. He also has 29 career interceptions for 645 yards (22.2-yard avg.) and seven touchdowns. His seven career interceptions returned for touchdowns ranks sixth in NFL history, trailing only Rod Woodson (12), Ken Houston (9), Aeneas Williams (9), Deion Sanders (8), and Eric Allen (8).
Smith previously played for the Patriots in 1996 and again from 2000 through 2002. He originally signed with the Patriots on Oct. 9, 1996 after being released by the Jets on Sept. 24 of that season. He started six of the 11 games he appeared in for the Patriots that season and helped solidify the right cornerback position through the playoffs. He returned to the Patriots in 2000, after three seasons with the New York Jets (1997-99). He became a fixture at right cornerback, starting 42 of 45 games over the next three seasons. In 2001, he led the Patriots with five interceptions for 181 yards, including two that he returned for touchdowns. His contributions helped the Patriots earn another conference championship and the first Super Bowl title in franchise history.