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Saints sign veteran TE Alex Smith, waive Jack Tabb

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. -- The New Orleans Saints signed veteran tight end Alex Smith on Friday after losing undrafted rookie tight end Jack Tabb to an injury during Thursday's practice.

Smith is a 10-year veteran who most recently played with the Cincinnati Bengals. He played in only two games last year after suffering a season-ending torn biceps.

In addition to the Bengals, the 6-foot-4, 250-pounder has played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland Browns, primarily as a blocking specialist. He has 163 catches for 1,473 yards and 13 touchdowns in his career.

Smith will compete for a backup role behind top Saints tight ends Benjamin Watson and Josh Hill. He'll compete with fellow veterans Orson Charles and Kevin Brock, both of whom also previously played in Cincinnati.

The Saints also kicked the tires on Bengals free agent tight end Jermaine Gresham this summer before he signed with the Arizona Cardinals. Apparently they see Cincinnati as a tight end pipeline.

Tabb, a 6-3, 250-pounder from North Carolina, was waived injured. He could return to the Saints' injured reserve list if not claimed by another team.

Tabb appeared to suffer a knee or leg injury while landing hard after leaping for a ball in the end zone. He was in obvious pain as trainers attended to him.