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Report: Detroit Lions signing former third-round WR

The Detroit Lions are reportedly hosting former Saints WR Tre’Quan Smith for a visit and a potential futures signing.

NFL: JAN 01 Saints at Eagles Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

As first reported by Broncos reporter Mike Klis, the Detroit Lions are hosting free agent receiver Tre’Quan Smith for a visit on Wednesday.

UPDATE: Per NFL insider Aaron Wilson, the Lions are signing Smith.

The Lions are likely very familiar with Smith, who was a third-round pick for the New Orleans Saints in 2018. Obviously, both coach Dan Campbell and defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn overlapped with Smith’s time in New Orleans, as both were on the Saints’ coaching staff for Smith’s first three seasons in the NFL.

Smith played in New Orleans for five seasons, starting a total of 35 games over that span. His best statistical year was a modest 2020 season, in which he caught 34 passes for 448 yards and four touchdowns. For most of his time with the Saints, Smith was either the WR3 or WR4 option. In 2023, he spent most of the year on the Denver Broncos practice squad.

At 6-foot-1 and with 4.49 speed, Smith is decent outside receiver depth, something the Lions have long lacked in the last three years. Though Detroit has decent depth at the receiver position for 2024 (Amon-Ra St. Brown, Jameson Williams, Kalif Raymond, Antoine Green, Tom Kennedy, Maurice Alexander, and Daurice Fountain are all under contract), the Lions most of these players lack the combination of great size and speed. With Donovan Peoples-Jones and Josh Reynolds set to become free agents, Smith could be some fresh competition in the room—and he can play both the slot and the outside.

If you’re wondering why the Lions are able to host—and potentially sign—Smith, it’s because he ended the season on the Broncos’ practice squad. When Denver opted not to give him a futures deal at the end of their season, Smith became a “street free agent,” eligible to meet with and sign with any team he pleases.

Here are some recent highlights of Smith:

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