Cornerback Alphonso Smith doesn’t care whether the Lions are trying to trade him, and he won’t care until they do.
Smith, picked by the Broncos in the second round of the 2009 draft after Denver shipped a 2010 first-rounder to Seattle, was sent to Detroit after only one season for tight end Dan Gronkowski. Earlier this year, rumors surfaced that the Lions could move Smith in an effort to beef up their secondary.
“Please forgive my frankness,” Smith told Dave Dye of FOXSportsDetroit.com. “To be blunt with you, I really didn’t care. It didn’t happen. It still may happen. You never know.
“I don’t care about reports or rumors. Only thing I can focus on is I’m a Detroit Lion and I’m a Detroit Lion until I’m not.”
His preference would be to continue to wear Honolulu blue.
“I want to be here,” Smith said. “I’ve grown a lot with the scheme and the players and the things that the coaches want. But that decision is way above my pay grade. My job is to come in and play, not deal in personnel or whether I’m getting traded or not. . . . Really don’t care.”
Smith does care that he’s in a contract year. With his first-ever shot at free agency coming in March, he has every reason to play well, regardless of where he ends up playing.
If he stays in Detroit, he may have a chance to play plenty. He could end up filling the vacancy in the starting lineup created by the departure of Eric Wright via free agency.
“One of the ways I try to separate myself is making plays,” Smith said. “As I look around, if you talk about playmakers in the secondary, I’ll probably be the first on that list. That’s how I separate myself. . . . Do my job. Don’t give up any big ones and make plays when it’s there.”
Regardless of whether Smith gets traded, the Lions need someone to not “give up any big ones” and “make plays when it’s there” in 2012. If not, the Lions won’t get any farther than they did in 2011.