Lee Smith

Atlanta Falcons
Tight End #86
Atlanta Falcons
Tight End #86

Lee Smith News

Announces Retirement

Smith announced his retirement from the NFL on Tuesday.

Analysis: After 11 seasons in the league, Smith decided to hang up his cleats Tuesday. The tight end finishes his career with 73 catches for 523 yards and 11 touchdowns after spending time with the Bills, Raiders and Falcons while in the NFL.

Jan 25, 2022 2:30 PM EST

Non-factor in season finale

Smith played four offensive snaps but didn't record any counting stats during Sunday's 30-20 loss to the Saints.

Analysis: Smith, who is known more for his blocking, wasn't a factor in Week 18, as the Falcons fell behind early and had to turn primarily to the passing attack. He finished the 2021 campaign with nine catches (11 targets) for 65 yards and one touchdown across 16 appearances. The 34-year-old tight end is set to be a free agent this offseason, but it's unclear what type of market the veteran will draw.

Jan 12, 2022 11:48 AM EST

Full practice Tuesday

Smith (back) was a full participant at Tuesday's practice.

Analysis: The tight end missed the Falcons' Week 10 matchup against the Cowboys, but appears to be ready for Thursday night against the Patriots. He'll continue to operate as a reserve option behind Kyle Pitts, a role in which he has reeled in eight catches for 53 yards and a score this season.

Nov 16, 2021 2:33 PM EST

Won't play in Week 10

Smith (back) has been ruled out for Sunday's game in Dallas, Michael Rothstein of ESPN reports.

Analysis: Smith was previously listed as doubtful, so his absence against the Cowboys won't come as a surprise. Atlanta elevated Parker Hesse from the practice squad in a corresponding move to provide depth at tight end with Smith out.

Nov 13, 2021 1:05 PM EST

Doubtful against Dallas

Smith (back) is listed as doubtful for Sunday's game against the Cowboys, Scott Bair of the Falcons' official site reports.

Analysis: Barring an unexpected improvement, the back injury Smith sustained last week against the Saints will keep him out of action in Week 10. Even when healthy, the reserve tight end doesn't have a prominent role in the Falcons' offense, as Kyle Pitts and Hayden Hurst occupy the top two spots on the depth chart at the position.

Nov 12, 2021 11:15 AM EST

Non-participant Wednesday

Smith (back) was listed as a non-participant in Wednesday's practice, Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: Smith missed Wednesday's practice after sustaining a back injury in Sunday's win. The 33-year-old will have two more days to improve his status in order to play against Dallas.

Nov 10, 2021 2:17 PM EST

Catches all three targets

Smith caught all three of his targets for 30 yards during Sunday's 27-20 win over the Jets.

Analysis: The Falcons were without their top two wideouts Sunday, which allowed Smith extra opportunities in the passing game. The 33-year-old didn't disappoint and turned that opportunity into a season-high 30 receiving yards against the Jets. Smith remains behind Hayden Hurst and Kyle Pitts on the depth chart, but he will likely continue to see minor production as long as Matt Ryan continues to utilize his tight ends and running backs at a rapid rate.

Oct 11, 2021 12:36 PM EST

Catches three passes Sunday

Smith caught all three of his targets for seven yards and one touchdown during Sunday's 17-14 win over the Giants.

Analysis: Smith out snapped Hayden Hurst 26-to-24 in Week 3. It's uncertain if this trend will continue moving forward, but it is clear that both are firmly supplanted behind Kyle Pitts on the depth chart. While the 33-year-old's touchdown was a pleasant surprise, his production Sunday doesn't warrant him as a viable fantasy option.

Sep 27, 2021 11:52 AM EST

Back on practice field

Smith (undisclosed) returned from the reserve/COVID-19 list Friday, Tori McElhaney of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Smith was back on the field working with fellow tight ends Friday. If the veteran manages to make Atlanta's roster, he'll likely find himself handling a reserve blocking role.

Jul 30, 2021 10:41 AM EST

Headed to COVID-19 list

Smith was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.

Analysis: The team acquired Smith as depth for their tight end room in March. He's a 10-year veteran, though could have a hard time making the team with Kyle Pitts and Hayden Hurst ahead of him on the depth chart.

Jul 27, 2021 6:43 PM EST

Heading to Atlanta

Smith was traded to Atlanta for late-round draft compensation Tuesday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.

Analysis: Smith is a 10-year veteran, and he's spent six of them with Buffalo. He's been primarily a backup and blocking tight end, as he's reached double-digit receptions in a single campaign only twice in his career. He's likely to fill a similar role in Atlanta behind Hayden Hurst and Luke Stocker.

Mar 16, 2021 5:11 PM EST

Active versus Broncos

Smith (knee) is active for Saturday's game in Denver.

Analysis: Smith was officially listed as questionable after having been limited in practice all week, but he'll be available against Denver. With Tyler Kroft (coach's decision) a healthy scratch again, Smith will be Buffalo's only available tight end behind Dawson Knox.

Dec 19, 2020 12:17 PM EST

Misses lone target

Smith failed to catch his only target during Sunday's 34-24 win over the 49ers.

Analysis: The 33-year-old played a season-high 25 offensive snaps but was minimally involved in the passing game despite Josh Allen attempting 40 passes. Smith appears to have taken over duties as Buffalo's No. 2 tight end from Tyler Kroft, but it hasn't led to much production.

Dec 8, 2020 8:00 PM EST

Comes off COVID-19 list

The Bills activated Smith (illness) off the reserve/COVID-19 list Friday.

Analysis: Smith's return will provide Buffalo with some much-needed depth at tight end, after he and position mates Dawson Knox (illness) and Tommy Sweeney (illness) were all placed on the COVID-19 list last Saturday. In the two appearances Smith logged this season, he mostly contributed on special teams.

Oct 30, 2020 8:16 AM EST

Goes to COVID-19 list

Smith was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday, the Bills' official site reports.

Analysis: It's important to note Smith has not necessarily tested positive for the virus, but because he's been deemed to have been in close contact with fellow tight end Dawson Knox -- who has tested positive for COVID-19 -- Smith has been placed on the list due to league protocol. This also leaves the Bills in a bit of a pickle for Sunday's game against the Jets -- as it stands right now, Tyler Kroft is the only tight end set for action.

Oct 24, 2020 12:13 PM EST

Healthy scratch Week 4

Smith (coach's decision) is inactive for Sunday's game against the Raiders.

Analysis: Smith caught a one-yard touchdown on his only offensive snap during last week's win over the Rams, but he won't play Week 4 with Dawson Knox (concussion) good to go. Tyler Kroft will operate as Buffalo's secondary tight end Sunday.

Oct 4, 2020 12:09 PM EST

Returns to Buffalo

Smith agreed to terms on a three-year contract with the Bills on Monday.

Analysis: It will be the second stint in the Queen City for Smith, who previous played for the organizations from 2011-2014. The 31-year-old was released by the Raiders on May 2nd, but spent less then two weeks looking for a new home. The veteran tight end should be capable of producing at similar levels as his 2018 production (10 catches, 73 yards and three TDs), though he is more known for his blocking than offensive contributions.

May 13, 2019 6:28 AM EST

Cut by Raiders

Smith was released by the Raiders on Thursday, Field Yates of ESPN reports.

Analysis: Though now over 31 years old, Smith was still considered one of the better blocking tight ends in the league and his release only clears about $2.6 million in cap space. Regardless of the motive for his dismissal, there's now more of an opportunity for Luke Willson, Darren Waller and fourth-round rookie Foster Moreau to see expanded roles in 2019. Meanwhile, Smith should have no problem landing a new contract in advance of training camp. The Patriots, Texans, Rams and Jaguars all seem like good fits.

May 2, 2019 2:32 PM EST

Catches three touchdowns

Smith caught 10 of 11 targets for 73 yards and three touchdowns in 2018.

Analysis: Smith entered the season with only four career touchdowns but had three straight games with a score late in 2018. The veteran tight end has yet to reach 100 receiving yards in a single season as he enters the second year of his contract in Oakland.

Jan 18, 2019 11:49 AM EST

Scoring streak ends

Smith wasn't targeted in the passing game Monday in the Raiders' 27-14 win over the Broncos.

Analysis: Smith entered the Monday night matchup with touchdowns in the three straight contests, but that production was never likely to be sustained after it came on only three total targets. When the Raiders' lone goal-line opportunity arising early in the fourth quarter, the team declined to look Smith's way and instead handed the ball off to Jalen Richard, who jaunted three yards into the end zone to extend the Oakland lead to 16 points. Expect Smith to function mostly as a blocker in Oakland's season finale against the Chiefs this weekend.

Dec 25, 2018 8:47 AM EST

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