The New England Patriots worked out former Detroit Lions running back
Kevin Smith today, according to a league source with knowledge of the
The 6-foot-1, 217-pound former third-round draft pick from Central
Florida has rushed for 1,723 career yards and 12 touchdowns.
He has also caught 80 passes for 701 yards.
As a rookie in 2008, Smith led the Lions with 976 rushing yard and
Signed to a three-year, $1.79 million contract before that season, the
Lions didn't give Smith a tender offer on March 3, 2011. So, that made
him an unrestricted free agent.
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Patriots Insider Take: Jon Scott @jscottNFL
Adding Smith to a long list of backs who have come through Foxborough
for a closer look is indicative of the Patriots desire to kick the
tires on free agents who could help if the opportunity presented
itself. That opportunity could come from an unfortunate injury
to another player currently on the roster, or a series of events which
may leave New England shorthanded at the running back position.
Smith was on New England's radar coming out of college, and again when
he flirted with free agency last year Aside from
wanting to kick the tires on a possible replacement back, New England
could be looking to add depth after rookie Stevan Ridley missed last
week's game. Should Ridley's absence be an ongoing concern, a
back with Smith's pedigree could come in handy.
One challenge Smith is facing is his ability to bounce back from ACL
surgery. For a runnig back, knee injuries can be a serious
problem. Smith is carrying a lot of wear and tear on his body
since his days as a college ball carrier. He set an NCAA
record for most carries (450) his junior season at UCF, breaking Marcus
Allen's record (405) set in 1981. He had over 900 carries by the end of
his junior season, causing some Draft experts to wonder how much of a
beating could his body take in the pro level.
A healthy Smith could be a key contributor for any team in the NFL.
In his heyday, Smith was a force to be reckoned with.
Should he find a way to return to that form, some team will
be getting a top tier back at what could be a bargain basement price.
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