Bidding to upgrade the defensive line, the Green Bay Packers have signed veteran tackle Larry Smith as a free agent, GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman announced Sunday.
The 6-5, 310-pound Florida State alumnus, a second-round draft choice of Jacksonville in 1999, has played in 51 games for the Jaguars over four seasons, with seven starts.
Smith, earning a starting assignment early in the '02 season after playing 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 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 one 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.
A three-year letterman as a collegian, and the fifth defensive tackle selected in the '99 draft, Smith played in 31 games for the Seminoles, with eight starts. He passed up his senior year at FSU to enter the NFL draft.
To make room for Smith on the roster, the Packers placed defensive back Bryant Westbrook on injured reserve. Westbrook suffered an Achilles tendon injury in the Atlanta game Aug. 9.
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