One of the things I had wondered was whether any free agent players would be attending any of the team camps being held during the lockout. For example, I wondered if a guy like Lawrence Vickers would show up to the first three offensive minicamps, but he did not.
According to a report by Mary Kay Cabot of the Plain Dealer, veteran defensive end Robaire Smith is in attendance at the full squad minicamps taking place in Austin, Texas.
"[Browns linebacker] Scott [Fujita] reached out to me a couple of weeks ago and asked me to come down and be a part of it, which I thought was great," said Smith. "I told him most definitely I'd be there for him, especially coming from a guy like Scott. It meant a lot to me personally. There was no way I was going to turn this down, an opportunity to come here and work out with these guys."
As we knew earlier this offseason, general manager Tom Heckert said the team would be interested in bringing Smith back after seeing the results of his medical tests. Smith said he would still love to return to the Browns as he enters his 12th NFL season. He said the extra time off has given him more than enough time to feel great again, and that he can offer some versatility with his experience in the 4-3 defense:
He said he would welcome a chance to play again in the 4-3, which he played for five seasons in Tennessee. "I think I'm more of a defensive tackle, but I can also play end," he said. "The 4-3 is a little more hit the gaps. I like it."
I'll echo my wishes from earlier this preseason: unless the guy pleads for some ridiculous contract, I think Smith is a must-sign type of player given our lack of depth at defensive end.