FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots signed free agent wide receiver Zuriel Smith today. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Smith has been allocated to the NFL Europe League for its 2006 season.
Smith, 26, was originally drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the sixth round (186th overall) of the 2003 NFL Draft. The 5-foot-11-inch, 175-pound wide receiver has played in nine career NFL games, all as a rookie with the Cowboys in 2003. That year, he served as Dallas' return specialist for much of the season and led all NFC rookies with a punt return average of 7.1 yards, earning him a selection to Pro Football Weekly's all-rookie team. He has returned 30 career punts for 212 yards and has returned 23 career kickoffs for 485 yards (21.5 avg). Additionally, the Mechanicsville, Va. native has three career receptions for 46 yards. Smith was released by the Cowboys in the final preseason roster cutdown on Sept. 5, 2004. He was re-signed by Dallas on Jan. 13, 2005 and waived on Aug. 17, 2005. The Hampton product was claimed off waivers by the New York Giants on Aug. 18, 2005 and released by New York on Aug. 30, 2005.