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Smith, Rawlings latest on board

From the Jets to the Patriots to the Jets and back to the Patriots. Throw in four years with the Eagles at the start of his career and you have the path taken by Otis Smith after the 11th-year veteran signed a two-year deal with the Patriots on Wednesday.

Smith returns to New England after three seasons with the Jets where he played under Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick. Smith was never re-signed by the Patriots following the 1996 season and joined Bill Parcells in New York where he started 32 straight games from 1997-1998.

Last year, he broke his clavicle in training camp and missed the first three games of the season. He started in Week Four against Denver only to re-break the collarbone, ending his season. He was released by the Jets Monday on the league's first roster cut-down day.

He recorded 70 tackles in both of his full seasons starting for New York and added eight interceptions and 33 passes defensed during that time. In 1997, he posted an impressive six picks along with a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.

He also was part of the Patriots 1996 Super Bowl team. He began that season with the Jets, but was released on Sept. 24. He joined the Patriots on Oct. 9 and played in 11 games for New England, starting the final six, the two playoff games and the Super Bowl. His fourth-quarter interception and 47-yard touchdown return of a Mark Brunell pass iced the AFC Championship game for the Patriots, turning a fragile 13-6 lead into a commanding 20-6 edge.

Smith, 34, has started 53 of 109 career games and the 5-11, 195-pound cornerback has 20 career interceptions.

Rawlings, 23, is an offensive tackle who played collegiately at Minnesota in 1999 and signed with Kansas City as a rookie free agent following the April 2000 draft. The 6-3, 306-pound tackle was released Monday and signed with New England Wednesday.

He started 11 games at right tackle for the Golden Gophers in 1999, his first season as an offensive lineman after three playing on the defensive side. He is a native of Fort Gratiot, Mich.

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