Packers Kick Tires on Returner

As we were the first to report on Monday, the Packers have interest in former Pro Bowler Clifton Smith. Smith, who had an 83-yard return against Green Bay last year, worked out for the Packers on Tuesday.

Note: Clifton Smith signed with Miami on Wednesday morning.

In news we broke to Packer Report subscribers in the forums on Monday, there is a "mutual interest" between the Green Bay Packers and standout kick returner Clifton Smith, according to a source.

Smith, who played in the 2009 Pro Bowl as a rookie, worked out for the Packers on Tuesday. In 2008, the undrafted rookie from Fresno State averaged 27.6 yards on 31 kickoff returns, including a 97-yard touchdown, and 14.1 yards on 23 punt returns, with a 70-yard touchdown. Last season, he averaged 29.1 yards on 31 kickoff returns, including an 83-yarder against Green Bay, and 10.1 yards on 23 punt returns.

Health is an issue and might steer the always-cautious Packers away from making a move, even though he would fill a huge need. He sustained two concussions last year, including one on Dec. 6 that sidelined him for the final four games. This training camp, he was slowed by knee problems caused by gout and had a fumble on a kickoff return.

Upon leaving Green Bay, Smith flew to Miami to work out for the Dolphins.

The Packers could definitely use Smith's services, if he can prove he's healthy. Without Will Blackmon, the Packers are counting on starting cornerback Tramon Williams to return punts and key backup receiver Jordy Nelson to return kickoffs.

The 5-foot-9 Smith plays running back on offense but has just 12 career rushes and six career receptions.

Safety is another position of need, and the Green Bay Press-Gazette reported that former Jacksonville starter Gerald Alexander also worked out. The 6-foot-2, 209-pounder is in his fourth NFL season. He started 16 games as a rookie for Detroit in 2007 and 10 games for the Jaguars last season. He had two interceptions and forced three fumbles last year.

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at and Facebook under Bill Huber.

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