Around this time a year ago, the Detroit Lions made the decision to not bring back running back Kevin Smith. He was set to become an unrestricted free agent, but the Lions declined to tender him an offer, meaning he became an unrestricted free agent.
Smith was out of football until the Lions brought him back in the middle of the 2011 season. Finally healthy, he resumed his career with a few carries against the Chicago Bears and then put together an amazing game against the Carolina Panthers. Unfortunately, he dealt with injuries again later in the season, but when healthy he provided a nice boost to the Lions' running game.
With Smith set to become a free agent again this offseason, it's unclear if he will be back with the Lions in 2012. If it were up to him, though, he wouldn't be going anywhere.
"In every interview that I've done, even though I'm a free agent, I've referred to the team and me as us," Smith said. "I'm on the Lions roster in my opinion until I'm not on the Lions roster. That says it all."
If the Lions do decide to bring him back, they could have a backfield that consists of Smith, Jahvid Best and Mikel Leshoure next season. Injuries have been an issue with all three of them, but on paper, that is a pretty solid combination of running backs.