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Cleveland Browns Free Agent Review: DE Robaire Smith

We are currently in process of doing brief reviews of all of the free agents on the Cleveland Browns. Today, after a hiatus from doing these reviews, we take a look at a player who was on hiatus most of last season with an injury.

DE Robaire Smith

How and When He Joined the Browns: Before the 2007 season, Robaire Smith signed a four-year contract with the Browns and was set to be the team's starting defensive end after successful years in Tennessee. Smith was seen as a solid free agent pickup, one that was necessary to add some more credibility to the team's 3-4 defensive front.

Productivity Level Last Season: I liked how things were going for Smith to start off the season, but he only lasted five games before suffering an injury. In October last year, Smith was placed on the injured reserve due to a back injury, effectively ending his season. In Smith's four years with the Browns, his health status went like this: healthy (2007), not healthy (2008), healthy (2009), and not healthy (2010).

Why Keeping Him Could Make Sense: For all intents and purposes, the Browns have wiped the slate clean in terms of veteran defensive linemen. They need to make a decision on whether Smith is worth bringing back though, as having one "veteran," perhaps in a less-intensive reserve role, would benefit the Browns. Smith has enough experience playing in a 4-3 system and is the all-around effective player who can be counted upon to do his job, and I think the veteran pairing of Smith and Scott Fujita on the same side works well.

What the Browns Should Do: Smith was medically cleared to return to football back in March, but then the lockout happened. The medical results were sent to the Browns, and Tom Heckert reportedly said the team would be interested in Smith returning, depending on his medical evaluation. I have been a fan of Smith's, and I view him the same way I view Tony Pashos: he has injury concerns, but is a veteran player who can continue to act as a stopgap until we get some younger players in the mix. Keep him.

Now it's your turn -- vote in the poll below on whether or not the team should try to re-sign Robaire Smith!