Fifth-year interior offensive lineman Shelley Smith is scheduled to travel to town on Wednesday night for a free-agent visit with the Patriots.
Smith, who spent the last two seasons with the St. Louis Rams, is visiting with the New York Giants this afternoon. If Smith leaves New York without a contract agreement, he'll then continue on to Foxborough. Smith's scheduled visit was first tweeted by Jordan Raanan.
The Patriots have been exploring the interior offensive line market, bringing in former Dallas Cowboys center Phil Costa on Monday, as they prepare contingency plans with starting center Ryan Wendell in free agency.
Smith entered the NFL as a sixth-round draft choice of the Houston Texans in 2010 and at 6-foot-4, 312 pounds, he is more of an athletic offensive lineman than a mauler, fitting best in a zone-blocking scheme. He started eight games over the last two seasons for the Rams, who had claimed him off waivers from the Texans in December 2011. Smith's second career start came against the Patriots on Oct. 28, 2012, in London.
The Patriots generally like their interior offensive linemen to have position flexibility, and Smith -- who was a projected target in our free-agent fit series -- has experience at both guard spots and could also be a fit at center.