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Browns sign Shaun Smith

Zac Jackson, Staff Writer


The Browns added another defensive lineman - and another Smith - Friday when the Bengals didn't match the Browns' four-year offer sheet for defensive lineman Shaun Smith.

The Browns had announced they signed defensive end Robaire Smith earlier in the day.

In Shaun Smith, the Browns feel they're getting a player whose best football is ahead of him. Smith (6-foot-2, 325) will turn 26 during the 2007 preseason, doesn't have a lot of NFL mileage, and is big enough to play nose tackle in the Browns' 3-4 defensive alignment.

He broke into the league as an undrafted rookie with the Cowboys, spending 2003 on the practice squad.

He was waived by Dallas and Arizona during training camp in 2004 before landing in New Orleans, where he played in five games and made his first career start before getting waived again and claimed by the Bengals.

He played in three games and started the season finale for the Bengals, making an impression that would land him a permanent role as a backup in Cincinnati over the last two seasons.

He started five games in 2005 and made a career-best 38 tackles, and had 14 tackles in 13 games last season.

"We wish Shaun well with his new opportunity," said Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis in a statement on Friday. "For our offseason and future planning, we have chosen to allocate our cap resources in a different direction."

He's the second former Bengal to join the Browns this month -- Eric Steinbach was the team's first outside free agent addition -- and the second defensive lineman added this week.