Detroit Lions sign wide receiver Tre'Quan Smith to futures deal

The Detroit Lions have added another player on a reserve/futures deal, and it's someone very familiar to head coach Dan Campbell.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, as offseason mode began, the Detroit Lions signed 12 players to reserve/futures deals as the 90-man offseason roster is formed. On Wednesday, according to NFL insider Aaron Wilson, the Lions have signed wide receiver Tre-Quan Smith to a reserve/futures deal.

Mike Klis of 9News in Denver reported earlier Wednesday that Smith was visiting the Lions, and Klis also reported the signing.

Update, 4:55 p.m. ET: The Lions have announced the signing of Smith to a reserve/futures deal.

Smith was signed to the Denver Broncos' practice squad in October, and he played in one game. But it was also a reunion with head coach Sean Payton. He played for the New Orleans Saints from 2018-2022, with the first four of those seasons with Payton as the head coach. The Saints put him on IR before releasing him in September.

Of course that also means Smith has ties to the Lions' coaching staff. Head coach Dan Campbell and defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn worked under Payton during Smith's first three seasons in New Orleans.

Detroit Lions roster: How might Tre'Quan Smith fit in?

A third-round pick out of UCF in 2018, Smith started 35 games over those five seasons with the Saints. The best season of his career was in 2020, when he had 34 receptions for 448 yards and four touchdowns. He had a career-best five touchdowns in 2018 and 2019.

Smith has decent size (6-foot-1, 210 pounds) and good speed (4.49 40-yard dash at the 2018 NFL Combine), so he's a solid flier for the Lions to take right now. Wide receiver depth is not a huge concern, but Josh Reynolds and Donovan Peoples-Jones are free agents. Beyond Amon-Ra St. Brown, Jameson Williams, Kalif Raymond and Reynolds (if he's back) no one's roster spot or role feels locked in for next season.

Since he was on the Broncos' practice squad at the end of the season and they did not sign him to a futures deal, Smith became a street free agent, able to meet with and sign with any team without having to wait until the new league year starts. He's lined up for an opportunity to earn a roster spot in Detroit when offseason work starts.

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