L.J. Smith to Visit Falcons

Unrestricted free agent L.J. Smith (Eagles) will meet with the Atlanta Falcons.

According to Adam Schefter of the NFL Network, free agent tight end L.J. Smith is headed to Atlanta to meet with the Falcons.

As FalconInsider.com noted a few weeks ago, the production from the tight end position dropped significantly in 2008, and that adding a quality tight end to the Falcons offense could propel Matt Ryan into the NFL's Top 10 list in passer rating in 2009.

The Falcons re-signed Justin Peelle to a three-year contract last week, and have tight ends Ben Hartsock, Jason Rader and Keith Zinger on their roster.

L.J. Smith is the top available tight end on the free agent market. When healthy, Smith can be a difference maker in the passing game.

Between 2005 and 2006, Smith appeared in all 32 regular season games for the Eagles, producing 111 receptions for 1,293 yards and 8 touchdowns. During that same stretch, Smith had 17 plays of 20+ yards, including two plays of 60+ yards.

The problem with Smith is that over the last two seasons, he's rarely been healthy or productive when he has played. Smith has missed 9 games over the last two seasons, and has just 59 receptions for 534 yards and 4 touchdowns.

Brian McIntyre lives in the Boston area. In addition to writing for FalconInsider.com, Brian maintains his own blog (www.macsfootballblog.com) and charts games for Football Outsiders. If you'd like to e-mail Brian, you may do so here.

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