The Cleveland Browns announced the signing of cornerback Eric King and running back/kick returner Clifton Smith.
Guard Billy Yates (biceps) was officially placed on injured reserve and quarterback Brett Ratliff has been placed on waivers.
King (5-10, 185) has started four games during his NFL career, which began as a fifth-round pick out of Wake Forest by the Buffalo Bills in 2005, where he established career-highs in games played (16), tackles (29) and passes defensed (4).
In the four seasons since, King has appeared in 40 games with the Tennessee Titans (2006-08) and Detroit Lions (2009), totaling 41 tackles–including 15 on special teams–and breaking up four passes.
A Pro Bowl return specialist with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during his rookie season in 2008, Smith is expected to handle return duties while Josh Cribbs recovers from having four toes dislocated during Sunday’s 26-20 overtime loss to the New York Jets.
Smith has averaged 27.8 yards on 70 kick returns and 11.8 yards on 48 punt returns during his career. Smith finished last season on injured reserve after sustaining his second concussion of the season. Knee pain due to complications from gout kept Smith out of the Buccaneers’ first two pre-season games this summer, and he was released in early September and signed by the Miami Dolphins.
In two games with Miami, Smith averaged just 17.3 yards on three kick returns and 4.5 yards on a pair of punt returns before he was released.