The Green Bay Packers have re-signed veteran defensive tackle Larry Smith as a free agent, GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman announced Thursday.
Smith, a fifth-year professional previously had been signed Aug. 17 and played in two preseason games - against Carolina Aug. 23 and Tennessee Aug. 28 - before being released Sept. 1 in the team's final, NFL-mandated roster reduction for the regular season.
The 6-5, 310-pound Florida State alumnus, originally a second-round draft choice of Jacksonville in 1999, had played in 51 games for the Jaguars over four seasons, with seven starts, before being placed on waivers Aug. 13.
Smith, earning a starting assignment early in the '02 season after playing in a regular rotation at defensive tackle over his first three years, started the first three games and made a career-high 6 tackles in his third start, then suffered an ankle injury and lost his starting job to rookie John Henderson.
Despite the injury, Smith went on to have the most productive year of his career, posting 36 tackles, including 16 unassisted stops and 1 quarterback sack. He has career totals of 98 tackles and 4 sacks, along with 2 forced fumbles and 4 fumble recoveries.
A versatile performer, the 28-year-old Folkston, Ga., native can play both defensive tackle and defensive end positions.
The fifth defensive tackle selected in the '99 draft, Smith played in 31 games for Florida State, with eight starts.
To make room for Smith on the roster, the Packers placed wide receiver/kick returner Reggie Swinton on waivers. Smith has been assigned jersey number 96.