Kevin Smith would like to return to Lions

Kevin Smith is an unrestricted free agent but until the Detroit Lions tell him he’s no longer welcome, he considers himself off the market.

The Lions brought back their former third-round draft pick for a second tour this past season and he excelled after injuries thinned out the position. He rushed for 356 yards and four touchdowns and added 179 yards receiving and three more scores to help bolster the offense.

“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 told Anwar Richardson of MLive.com "I'm on the Lions roster in my opinion until I'm not on the Lions roster. That says it all."

The question is how do the Lions size up the position group? Mikel Leshoure will return after missing his entire rookie season with a torn Achilles tendon. That status of former first-round draft pick Jahvid Best is up in the air. He’s suffered multiple concussions and it’s unknown if he will return.

Smith has had his share of injuries, too, including a high-ankle sprain that limited him this past season. But he was productive in the scheme and would probably come at a reasonable price tag. We’ll see what happens.

“Those two guys are on the roster. I'm not. We'll see how it shapes out,” Smith said. “Either way, Jahvid and Leshoure are two good guys. I haven't seen Leshoure play, but I've watched his college highlights. I've seen what Jahvid can do. It should be a solid group either way."

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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