While the Buffalo Bills‘ 29-15 win over the Atlanta Falcons in Week 17 ultimately eliminated the NFC South franchise from the playoffs, there was nothing but love between guard Jon Feliciano and his former teammate, tight end Lee Smith.
Smith, who played for Buffalo during six of his nine years in the NFL, including two seasons (2019 and 2020) alongside Felicano, announced on Twitter the day after the Falcons loss that instead of the accustomed post-game jersey swap, signed gloves, or signed cleats, he’d be sending his buddy a very unique gift.
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Smith tweeted to Felicano that in addition to a signed jersey, he would be getting a ridiculous bonus present: A signed jockstrap.
In response, Felciano joked, “I thought the jock strap would be bigger…” which seemed to lead fans to believe that was a fake gag gift, merely a funny exchange on Twitter. However, on Thursday, January 6, the Bills offensive lineman confirmed on Instagram that he received a package from Smith, and yes, it included both the jersey and jockstrap.
Smith wrote on the jersey, “Feliz! From one Dirt Bag to Another! Love You Brother… God Bless!” On the jockstrap, since there wasn’t all that much room to write a note, he just signed his name and jersey number.
Feliciano shared a photo of the package on his Instagram stories, clearly thrilled that Smith followed through on his promise. “HUT HUT!! @leesmith_te thanks buddy can’t believe they washed the strap.”
Smith Says He’ll ‘Pay Plenty of Fines for Pregame Hugs’ With His Former Bills Teammates
After appearing in 26 games with the Bills between the 2019 and 2020 seasons, Buffalo traded Smith to the Falcons in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick. Prior to facing his former team at Highmark Stadium in Week 17, the former fifth-round pick from the 2011 NFL Draft told The Atlantic Journal-Constitution that he was excited about the challenge.
“So yeah man, going up into this atmosphere that I was a part of for six years and playing against this group of men (whom) I consider if not the best roster in the league, one of the best rosters,” Smith said. “They are playing good football in December when you’re supposed to play good football.”
Despite his exit from the Bills, the 34-year-old tight end said prior to facing his former team in Week 17 that he still remains best friends with his ex-teammates. In fact, he still spends Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays with his Buffalo buddies.
“It’s going to be a special deal for me and my family,” Smith said, of returning to Orchard Park. “I love those guys. I’ll never deny it. I’ll pay plenty of fines for pregame hugs with all my buddies up there, and I’m willing to do it.
“Those are my dudes, and nobody’s happier for them when they win than me.”
Bills Head Coach Said Smith ‘Made a Mark’ on the Bills Franchise
While numerous Bills players shared their love for their former teammate before and after their Week 17 matchup, head coach Sean McDermott also commented on see Smith back on the field at Highmark Stadium.
“He’s made a mark on this organization (during) two different stints with the Bills,” McDermott told AJC. “He’s a very well-liked guy in our building here. We really appreciate his leadership that he gave us when I was here.”
McDermott said he’s also enjoyed watching Smith, who’s originally from Powell, Tennessee, continue to thrive in Atlanta. Before taking on the Bills last week, Smith, who doubles as a receiver and blocker, had caught nine of 11 targets for 65 yards and a touchdown.
“It’s always nice to see players go on and do great things,” McDermott continued. “From the film that I’ve watched, he’s getting quite a bit of playing time. I know he’s closer to home as well down there, which is always good.”
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