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Jason Smith, New Orleans Saints reach one-year deal

Now that Jermon Bushrod has defected to the Chicago Bears, New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton concedes that concerns about the left tackle position keep him up at night.

The Saints added another tackle, but not of the caliber to end Payton's sleepless nights. Jason Smith agreed to terms with the Saints on a one-year contract, the team announced Thursday.

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One of the biggest draft busts of the past half-decade, Smith was plagued by concussions early in his St. Louis Rams career after being drafted No. 2 overall out of Baylor in 2009.

When he did make it out of the trainers' room, Smith was a turnstile in pass protection, unable to cut it at left tackle. He was relegated to a backup right tackle/jumbo tight end role with the New York Jets last season after coming over in a trade.

Unproven and oft-injured Charles Brown currently tops the depth chart at left tackle, and the Saints understandably are not sold on him as the starter. "I look at that spot (on the depth chart) like there's a magnet with no name on it," Payton said last month via the New Orleans Times-Picayune. "Gray, it's just gray."

Look for the Saints to target a tackle such as Florida State's Menelik Watson early in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.

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