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Alex Smith re-signs with Cincinnati Bengals

John Grieshop

The Cincinnati Bengals are bringing back tight end Alex Smith. He had become an unrestricted free agent when his 2013 contract expired.

Last year, Smith played in 16 games with one start while playing mostly as a blocking tight end in 257 offensive snaps. He caught just three passes for 12 yards and one touchdown.

Smith was more of a blocking TE that also played a little fullback, so he's not the ideal option if the Bengals want to add another pass-catching threat at TE.

"Alex played significant snaps for us last year, and it’s good to get him back in the fold," said Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis. "He’s ready to go physically, and it’s mini-camp week, so he jumps right back in there for us."

Prior to signing with the Bengals last year, Smith had played in 26 games over the last two seasons for the Cleveland Browns. He caught 27 passes for 178 yards over that span. He also played in more of an H-back type role for the Browns, and that was reflective of his role in Cincinnati.

He’s now played for nine seasons after entering the NFL in 2005 as a third-round draft pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If he is signed, that doesn't bode well for Orson Charles, as it's unclear if he's being specifically used at fullback this year, or if he'll double between that and TE.