FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots claimed wide receiver Jonathan Smith off of waivers today. Smith, who is entering his third NFL season, was waived by the Buffalo Bills yesterday. Additionally, the Patriots released first-year wide receiver Bam Childress.
Smith, 24, was originally drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the seventh round (214th overall) of the 2004 NFL Draft. The 5-foot-10-inch, 194-pound wide receiver has played in 16 career games, all with the Bills, and has started one career contest. His NFL totals include eight receptions for 77 yards (9.6 avg.) and a touchdown, six kickoff returns for 152 yards (25.3 avg.), 15 punt returns for 198 yards (13.2 avg.) and a touchdown, and three rushes for 12 yards. Last season with the Bills, the Georgia Tech product caught five passes for 56 yards (11.2 avg.) and a touchdown while playing in seven games with one start. His punt return for a touchdown came on a 70-yard return against the Patriots at Gillette Stadium on Nov. 14, 2004, and provided Buffalo's only scoring in a 29-6 New England victory. In the 2006 preseason, Smith caught six passes for 48 yards and led the Bills with six punt returns for 29 yards.
Childress, 24, was signed by the Patriots as an undrafted free agent on July 24, 2005. The 5-foot-10-inch, 185-pound wide receiver was a member of the Patriots practice squad for the first 16 weeks of the 2005 season before being signed to the active roster on Dec. 31, 2005, the day before New England's regular-season finale against Miami. In that game, Childress' only NFL contest, he led the team with three receptions for 32 yards and also collected five tackles (2 solo) while playing in the defensive backfield.
Also, the Patriots announced the signings of six players to their eight-man practice squad. Offensive linemen Billy Yates and Dan Stevenson, wide receiver Kelvin Kight, linebacker Corey Mays, defensive lineman Santonio Thomas and defensive back Antwain Spann all cleared waivers and earned spots on the practice squad.