Lions set Kevin Smith free

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A bright spot on the first 0-16 team in NFL history, running back Kevin Smith deserved better during his stay in Detroit.

But he never fully recovered from a torn ACL at the end of the 2009 season, and struggled with injuries in 2010 as well.  The Lions didn’t offer Smith a restricted free agent tender on Thursday, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.  That’s especially significant because Smith is only a third-year player.  They could have easily retained Smith’s rights if they wanted to.

The Lions have Jahvid Best and Maurice Morris atop their depth chart heading into next year.  Smith now becomes an unrestricted free agent.

15 responses to “Lions set Kevin Smith free

  1. The “free” pass should have gone to Matthew Stafford who, out of a possible 32 total games playable over two years, has only played 13. You call that production worth $60M or whatever he was paid? Chile, pleeze (rolling eyes)

  2. He should feel good about this. Its like he was only halfway to his parole eligibility and the governor swooped in with a pardon.

  3. It’s unfortunate Smith can’t stay healthy. He seemed to have alot of potential after college and his 1st year in DET. I think he would be a pretty good change of pace no. 2 rb if he could stay on the field. It will be interesting to see what kind of interest he draws

  4. “deserved better” ? Smith deserved nothing, the Lions deserved better. This is a guy who asked the Dolphins to “come get me” while he was still property of the Lions. I’m glad he didn’t get tendered, I doubt he makes any teams starting day roster. See Ya 34K

  5. Pity. I like Kevin, and think he’s a serviceable back. He’s no speedster, and (with injuries) has seemed to flinch from hitting the hole hard when he needs to, but with all the down time to heal, I figured he was coming back.

    Had to have been a numbers game. Best is the real deal, and Morris has proven over the last 2 years (and during his prior time in Seattle) that he’s a viable back, as well.

    @granadosm & mike83ri — I don’t think Smith is a “change of pace” back — doesn’t have the speed. And I doubt the Pats will even give him a sniff. They have better.

  6. Set Free, the heart wrenching tale of a Lion given his unconditional release at a relatively young age.

  7. i like smith and think, at 25 years old, he can still contribute for someone out there. i expect that over a full year after his ACL injury he should be a lot healthier this year.

  8. As a Lions fan I always loved his attitude but his production doesn’t match it anymore. Maybe it is because of injuries but it’s still reality.

  9. The Lions must be planning on upgrading his spot, he wasn’t THAT bad. Aaron Brown might step up, or they could go for a RB late in the draft, 4th or 5th… I hope they just let Aaron get his carries, he’s shown flashes, and he should be putting on some muscle by now.

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