Judgment day comes a week from today during Bill Belichick's annual conditioning test. Antowain Smith has failed it in each of his last two years. The Pats made no major moves to upgrade the depth chart, so improvements must come from within. They will likely go with a running back-by-committee approach.
According to the Boston Herald, the Patriots told Antowain Smith to get lighter and quicker in the offseason, and players and coaches have indicated that he has. We'll find out for sure next week when Smith tries to pass Bill Belichick's annual conditioning test. Smith has failed it in each of the past two years.
Smith is playing for big bucks this season. The Pats have seven days following the season to pay Smith a $500,000 option bonus and pick up his 2004 salary of $2.4 million. If the Pats don't exercise the option, Smith becomes a free agent and leaves nearly $3 million on the table. The last time Smith was motivated by money he rushed for 13 touchdowns and over 1,100 yards in the Pats' Super Bowl season.
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