In February 1992 the Falcons traded Brett Favre to the Packers
for a '92 first-round draft choice, which Atlanta used to select
running back Tony Smith, who had played in the same backfield
with Favre for two seasons at Southern Mississippi. Now Favre is
a three-time league MVP making $6.8 million a year, and Smith,
28, is trying to jump-start his NFL career.
"I wouldn't say [the trade] has been a blessing or a curse,"
Smith said last Friday after a minicamp practice with the
Eagles. "I've got nothing but love for Brett. Things happen for
Having played in a standard pro-style offense at Southern Miss,
Smith wasn't suited for Atlanta's run-and-shoot attack. Though
he showed flashes of brilliance as a return man, Smith was
released early in his third season. In December 1994 the
expansion Panthers made him one of their first signees, but he
broke his leg during a preseason game in '95, spent the year on
injured reserve and was released during training camp in 1996.
Smith finally got back in football in '98, landing a job with
the CFL's Toronto Argonauts and being used as a return man and
short-yardage back. In February he had an impressive tryout with
the Eagles, including a 4.5 time in the 40, which earned him one
more NFL opportunity--in a weak backfield behind incumbent Duce
"I never thought I'd get another shot at the NFL," the 6'2",
225-pound Smith says. "I realize this is my last one, but I love
May 2, 1999