The New Orleans Saints announced Thursday that they have agreed to terms with free agent tackle Jason Smith on a one-year contract. The announcement was made by Saints’ Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis. Smith comes to New Orleans after spending the 2012 season with the New York Jets.
Smith, 6-5, 308, was originally chosen by the St. Louis Rams as the second overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft out of Baylor. The Dallas, Texas native has appeared in 45 career games with 26 starts at both right and left tackle. Prior to being acquired by the Jets at the conclusion of training camp in 2012, with Smith playing tackle for his first three seasons in St. Louis, then-Rams running back Steven Jackson exceeded 1,100 yards each season between 2009-11. After appearing in eight games with five starts as a rookie, Smith opened 15 games at right tackle in 2010, as Jackson rushed for 1,241 yards and Sam Bradford became the second rookie quarterback to throw for more than 3,500 yards. Smith served as a blocking tight end and backup tackle in New York.
At Baylor, Smith transitioned from tight end to tackle as a sophomore and started 39 of 42 contests during his career (24 at left tackle, seven at right tackle, and eight at tight end). As a senior, he earned first-team All-America honors from the Football Writers Association and was a unanimous first-team All-Big 12 conference selection as his blocking efforts helped Baylor rank 21st in the nation and third in the conference in rushing, averaging 197.75 yards per game, while surrendering only 3.5 sacks. Smith graduated in 2008 with a bachelor of science degree in education and attended graduate school during his final season.