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Lions agree to terms with RB Kevin Smith

Posted by ttwentyman on March 27, 2012 – 2:15 pm

The Lions have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with running back Kevin Smith, Lions general manager Martin Mayhew confirmed to reporters Tuesday at the owners meetings in Florida.

Smith played in seven games with the Lions last season after signing mid-season to help bolster a running back position decimated by injuries.

Smith was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week after a 201-yard, three-touchdown performance against the Panthers in his first game back with the team last season.

“He’s a versatile back,” Mayhew said. “He can do a lot of things. He’s really good on third down, a good pass protector and a very intelligent football player.”

Smith’s signing is good for the Lions. He adds depth to the unit behind Mikel Leshoure and Jahvid Best. Leshoure missed all of last season with a torn Achilles tendon and Best missed the last 10 games with a concussion.

“Kevin is a good back, his problem obviously has been the number of injuries he’s had and just trying to overcome those,” said Mayhew.

Smith has had knee, shoulder and ankle injuries over the last three seasons.

He was a third-round pick by the Lions out of Central Florida in 2008 and started most of his first two seasons in the NFL. The team did not offer him a restricted free agent tender before last season, which made him a free agent.


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Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 48 Comments »


48 Responses to “Lions agree to terms with RB Kevin Smith”

  1. By Great Signing on Mar 27, 2012 | Reply

    Great signing. He has said only positives of this team. He performed while healthy. I’m sure he comes at a pretty cheap price. Excellent depth to add. The man can run, catch and block. Sure the injury concerns but oh well. You don’t get much better for a third stringer. I’m glad he’s back. Just wish it was with more than one year on the deal actually.

  2. By Robin on Mar 27, 2012 | Reply

    I think its great he’s coming back! GO LIONS:)

  3. By VA. fan on Mar 27, 2012 | Reply

    GREAT MOVE for a great RB if he’s healthy he should be the starter.

  4. By Andrea L. Molinari on Mar 27, 2012 | Reply

    Welcome back, Kevin! You are the very embodiment of toughness and tenacity. You always have a place in the hearts of true Lions fans!

  5. By paul b. on Mar 27, 2012 | Reply

    Way to go lions ! Welcome back or still here to you ks . Your a hard worker and you should be on the team for the SB run if it happens. Glad to have you !
    just hope all stay healthy , you all will make a good back field.

  6. By Eddie Hiller on Mar 27, 2012 | Reply

    That was a great sign to resign Kevin Smith

  7. By Mickey on Mar 27, 2012 | Reply

    Is this the same Kevin Smith who said he would make me forget about Barry Sanders?

  8. By furiousstylz32 on Mar 27, 2012 | Reply

    I’m Happy for you K smith..R.E.D.E.M.P.T.I.O.N!!!!!!!! it was great seeing you have a second chance last year……Make the best of it

  9. By Jim McCarthy on Mar 27, 2012 | Reply

    Very smart choice by the Lions. Depth at RB is very important. Kevin is a nice player and an even better lesson in determination . We are all pulling for you Kevin on ever play !

  10. By craig casto life long lion fan on Mar 27, 2012 | Reply

    I DONT CARE WHO STARTS WE NEED A GOOD RUNNING GAME 2 WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP GO LIONS KICK SOME MORE BUTT THIS YEAR

  11. By THE GREAT AND POWERFUL OZ on Mar 27, 2012 | Reply

    THE GREAT AND POWERFUL OZ GIVES HIS BLESSING…These lions are not COWARDLY.GO LIIONS.

  12. By jordan on Mar 27, 2012 | Reply

    glad you are back kevin

  13. By Ghost on Mar 27, 2012 | Reply

    I hope KS tares them up this season.

  14. By Don on Mar 27, 2012 | Reply

    Glad that you are back Kevin!
    Time for More TD’s!!!!!! (: And 30 yard breaks!

  15. By chris on Mar 27, 2012 | Reply

    Great move by Mayhew and the lions management. Smith is a great back , he can run and catch the ball out of the backfield. Hopefully he can stay healthy the whole season, if so the lions have a great and deep backfield this year that should open the pass game!

    GO LIONS!

  16. By ashevillain on Mar 27, 2012 | Reply

    Awful, just awful.

    2 backs with major injury issues, one with an injury but unknown ability and FB also with unknown ability…and this is supposed to be our running game!?

    (double facepalm)

  17. By Spence on Mar 27, 2012 | Reply

    Kevin definatly deserves a shot at earning a spot on the final roster… If he is healthy then I feel he really could be a major contributor in our offense

  18. By matthew on Mar 27, 2012 | Reply

    Kevin is a true blue collar worker, a Man who overcomes injuries and adversity
    that shows what DETROIT is all about….
    Welcome back Kevin… Continue to give em all you got..
    Go Lions.

  19. By Woody Douglas on Mar 27, 2012 | Reply

    assvillen needs a little faith. Kevin is better than average back. Lions line need to learn to be a better run unit, no one have a chance when the other team is in your backfield. We do not have a line like Texans or Steelers not even the Giants so lets put things were they need too.

  20. By OneTyme on Mar 27, 2012 | Reply

    I really like Smith’s heart and work ethic, but I disagree with this move from a football business standpoint. He is an injury waiting to happen. He has never proven anything different than that. The best move would be to sign someone else, and if Best doesn’t make it through the season this year, it will be time to part ways with him also. We need consistency in our back field and neither of those backs has EVER given us that. Enough with these little bity scat-backs! Hopefully LeShoure will bring a strong running game with him. I like having a small change of pace back, but NOT to use as our starter. Not one single team is afraid of a little RB and will never put enough defenders on him to give relief to Calvin and Matthew. Nothing against Smith, I’m just ready to see us in the NFC Championship at least, and with a little running game like ours has been, that won’t happen because they will never stay healthy with today’s large linemen.

  21. By jlaba2 on Mar 27, 2012 | Reply

    SIGNING KEVIN SMITH WILL PROVE TO BE A GOOD MOVE FOR THE LIONS.

  22. By Dave "Waz" on Mar 27, 2012 | Reply

    Leshoure gets hurt in camp and misses a whole season. Best gets a concussion and misses the better half of the season. Smith signs and gets hurt his second game. I just hope between the 3, we have the equivelent of one good back for the whole season.

  23. By DR on Mar 27, 2012 | Reply

    I THINK LADAINIAN TOMLINSON WOULD HAVE MADE A BETTER CHOICE. MORE DURIABLE THAN ALL THE RUNNING BACKS WE HAVE.

  24. By DAJAHN on Mar 27, 2012 | Reply

    I THINK THAT LADAINIAN TOMLISON WOULD HAVE BEEN A BETTER CHOICE. HE IS A HECK OF ALOT MORE DURAIBLE THAN THE OTHER RUNNING BACKS ON THE ROSTER!!!

  25. By Total Lion Fan on Mar 27, 2012 | Reply

    The Lions have done a great thing by keeping kevin smith. Detroit cant pass on Adonis Thomas from toledo University. I watched his pro day this kid ran a 4.4
    watched tape great field vision.

  26. By neil on Mar 27, 2012 | Reply

    are you kidding me,lt is past his prime,smith will be fine jahvid best is who i worry about,concussion are nver good i think he will only last another year or 2,best is fast but i do not like his running style of turning is back at the line,i think they might draft another running back,but signing lt would have not made since he is not a 20 plus carry running back any more and he is not as fast as he used to be.

  27. By Rick on Mar 27, 2012 | Reply

    I think this is an excellent move.

    If there are no injuries in pr- season we will have 3 good backs to share the load and prevent further injuries. I expect whoever has the hot hand to get the ball and situations may dictate which of the 3 that will be.

    Perfect compliment to our awesome air attack.

  28. By motllee92 on Mar 27, 2012 | Reply

    This is a great move. I really think between these 3 running backs, we will be able to 1) rotate them out, reducing the chance of injury, 2)keeping them rested and fresh,and up to speed late in the game, and 3)God for bid, if one does get hurt we still have 2 top notch running backs to give us a much needed running game. If all three do get hurt then we salvage the good parts from each, and build a new frankenstein type running back to get us through till next years draft!

  29. By motllee92 on Mar 27, 2012 | Reply

    Mr. Smith GLAD TO HAVE YOU BACK!!!!!!! This is going to be a great year to be a lion fan. I truely think you are going to ave a great year. STAY HEALTHY BRO!!!!!!

  30. By kronik on Mar 28, 2012 | Reply

    I disagree with u onetymer but see where you are coming from. Kevin is great for depth and maybe be starting third down back, he’s one of the best blocking halfbacks in the league, saved a few games by letting Matt get rid of it for that big play to calvin or someone a few times, and about Best alls I got to say is when he’s healthy we were one of the best teams in the league, weren’t we 5-0 before he went down in the middle of the 49ers game??? Yeah we were and a big part had to do with Best. He just needs to stay healthy which I really dont know he can do but we were saying the same thing about Stafford last year. Just saying coaches respected Jahvid very much.

  31. By kronik on Mar 28, 2012 | Reply

    Forgot to mention Leshoure. If he comes back from his injury strong are backfeild will be nasty he was that bruiser short yardage beast in college. If that transitions to the nfl which for runningbacks it usually does alls i got to say is nasty backfeild if they can stay healthy which i dont know they can still… I’m just praying

  32. By Michael on Mar 28, 2012 | Reply

    Best is a great player but he has a small head he cant get hit over and over he is one of those running backs that are super good but can only be played two or three times a drive and thats it, as far as smith good move on the lions he may have injury issues but on third down he is great and he can come in if best and leshore cant play he is good for a few games where we need time to get back on our feet, and his work ethic is fantastic.

  33. By kronik on Mar 28, 2012 | Reply

    backfield* for the grammar nerd

  34. By eric on Mar 28, 2012 | Reply

    Smith is a good back..better than most people think..know if best and leshore bring it thats a pretty good unit..

  35. By Boober on Mar 28, 2012 | Reply

    YESSSSSSSSS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  36. By soctt on Mar 28, 2012 | Reply

    Best, Leshoure and Smith are all above average running backs and have the potential to be a great combination. I think the Lions will be able to spread out the carries among them and that alone should help to keep them healthy.

  37. By Goodz on Mar 28, 2012 | Reply

    To ashevillain, I would like to point out that our QB had a bunch of injuries his first couple of years and we stuck with him. He threw for over 5000 yards last season and led us to 10 wins and a playoff berth. If Stafford could stay healthy for a whole year, these guys have a shot to do it as well. If they DO stay healthy, Kevin Smith, Javid Best, and Mikel Leshoure are all amazing talents in the backfield and we will go from “no running game” to a “great running game” in one season! GO LIONS!!!

  38. By Goodz on Mar 28, 2012 | Reply

    Someone else here said something about not fearing a small back. Umm, does the name Maurice Jones-Drew ring any bells for anyone? Ever hear of Barry Sanders? C’mon people!!! Injuries are part of the game. Sometimes freaky stuff happens. The ONLY back I worry about is Best. Concussions are nasty to shake. Lets just hope they stay healthy for a full year and let’s see what kind of damage the Lions can do with a solid running game to match their passing game. What we do need now is some shutdown corners and better offensive line to open up holes for the running game. Hopefully they will address some of that in the draft.

  39. By roger bouqueony on Mar 28, 2012 | Reply

    Lions should trade Avril for a 2nd round draft pick and free up that revenue. Rice is still out there and can be an immediate improvement to the running game and keep some pressure off of Stafford.

  40. By J.T. on Mar 28, 2012 | Reply

    I DONT UNDERSTAND WHY SOME PEOPLE ARE BEING SO HARD ON KEVIN. YEAH, HES HAD SOME INJURY PROBLEMS, BUT THE GUY PLAYS HIS HEART OUT WHEN HE TAKES THE FIELD. I THINK ITS A GOOD SIGNING FOR BOTH PARTIES. HE WANTS TO BE HERE AND WE WANT HIM, ESPECIALLY IF HE STAYS HEALTHY, WHICH CAN HAPPEN NOW THAT WE HAVE A GROUP OF BACKS THAT ARE WILLING TO BE TEAM PLAYERS AND NOT ABOUT THEMSELVES AND SHARE THE BALL. BESIDES, IF WE HAD BROUGHT IN SOMEONE ELSE, WE WOULD WAIST TIME TEACHING HIM THE PLAYBOOK. WITH KEVIN HE CAN COMPETE RIGHT AWAY FOR THE STARTING SPOT. ALSO, WE NEED TO START THINKING REPLACEMENTS FOR OUR AGING O-LINE!!!

  41. By flounderWA on Mar 29, 2012 | Reply

    Who, exactly, is calling Kevin Smith a “small back”??!?!

    He’s 6-1, 210-220

    He was criticized pre-draft for being “too big for a HB, built more like a WR with longer leg strides” etc. etc.

    He’s a kind of hybrid back who is big enough to block, still gets out quick and catches well, and can make the first guy miss. He’s VERY useful in the Scott Linehan type offense as a smart, good-blocking, great-catching, fast outlet back. When they have Mikel back for the grinding between-the-tackles running, Jahvid for explosive screens, sweeps, etc., and Kevin for 3rd down blocking/catching…that will be a good, talented unit.

    If they do anything to the backfield in April….Detroit needs to draft for depth to get a young developmental running back with good upside potential who can work as a backup and evolve into a replacement for either KS or JB.

  42. By fred on Mar 29, 2012 | Reply

    Like most people that have commented I think it is a great move. Best and leshoure healthy would probably be enough of a deadly combo, but smith is a good spare back for a fill in. If injuries get the best of the 3 of them AGAIN this year..well, smith is only a 1 year deal and we can draft a better backup back next year. But this year our biggest draft picks NEED to be on our secondary. Lions already had a playoff run last season with these 3 without LeShoure at all, so who is really to say this isnt the perfect emergency back up move?

  43. By fred on Mar 29, 2012 | Reply

    Adding to my above statement: by secondary I do mean defensively as well as OFFENSIVELY. Yes the defensive secondary was clear last year because we just couldnt stop any team (first or second string) from making big plays on us. But offensively i think maybe a veteran te would help the 3

  44. By fred on Mar 29, 2012 | Reply

    Rbs with making the bigger explosive plays in the backfield. There was clearly the injury aspect holding us back last year, but with 3 decent-good backs throughout the season we should not have been at the very bottom of the rushing ypg.

  45. By mike on Mar 31, 2012 | Reply

    Something is subject to change.

  46. By flatlander6 on Mar 31, 2012 | Reply

    Kevin will be the starting back this year. He is more versatile. Leshore doest have the quickness to go out and has never been a known as a reciever and Best can’t give us up the middle runs and block. Kevin has the whole package he just has to stay healthy.

  47. By carol wadsworth on Apr 1, 2012 | Reply

    i hope the lions are picking the right kind of player,s they so need the help. ive been watching the lions year after yearand not go any where, it,s getting better with schwartz they won 10 games this past season that was great, it does my heart good to see these win,s and if you get the right players you will see your stadium full at every game.kevin will be good this year but keep him healthy.he has quickness and thats a good thing. you sure need the defense up front and you need someone thats fast enough to get to the opposite QB, and not let them get the ball down field.i remember Jerry Ball when he played for the Lions , he was a big man, he was good , i remember the day Mike Utly got hurt and it ended his career that was a very sad day. i dont ever want to see that kind of thing again.i remember Luther Ellis he was good at what he done.and then there was the best RUNNING BACK. IN THE N F L .BARRY SANDERS. he could turn on a dime and give ya back nine cents change.he was the best. i just have to get used to all the new players and their names . time has changed so much in the NFL today. i hope to see good things from coach schwartz, i hope he can lead them to a super bowl win. i have alot of faith in him, he is doing great. i hope to see some day BARRY SANDERS JR. play for detroit. i hope he is as good as his dad is at playing foot ball. he would be great. i remember Barry sr having that little guy out on the field during practices, he sure was a cutie, he was into the football thing back then, he was only about 3 yrs old. so now after the draft i hope to see some good players out on the field. i am so looking foward to watching the lions this year. I SAY LET,S KICK SOME BOOTY THIS YEAR SCHWARTZ.. ENOUGH SAID.

  48. By Detroit Lions #1 on May 30, 2012 | Reply

    Soooooo glad to have Kevin Smith back!

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