Anwar Richardson of mlive.com reported that the Lions were close to a deal with running back Kevin Smith earlier this morning and Pro Football Talk is now reporting that a one-year deal is in place:
Kevin Smith returns to the Lions on a one-year deal, per league source.
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) March 27, 2012
Richardson is reporting the same.
With Jahvid Best and Mikel Leshoure expected to return from injury, the Lions will head into the 2012 season with three options at running back that they should feel very comfortable with. Kevin Smith will likely fill the role that Maurice Morris held heading into the 2011 season. Smith always seemed intent on returning to the Lions and genuinely loves the organization. It should be noted that the Lions gave Smith his first chance in the NFL as a third-round pick in 2008 and also his second chance when they signed him during last season when no one else extended him an offer.
Keiland Williams is also under contract for 2012 and the Lions signed Joique Bell to a two-year contract late last season. At this point it seems unlikely the Lions draft a running back next month unless something changes – like bad news on Jahvid Best’s health.