Mikel Leshoure Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz and Speculation Surrounding Lions RB
Mikel Leshoure has yet to receive a carry for the Detroit Lions through three games. The former second-round pick was reportedly open to moving to a different team in a trade for more playing time.
ESPN insider Adam Schefter explained on Sunday, Sept. 15, that Mikel Leshoure has accepted his role, but that he wouldn't mind a fresh start where he would be a more prominent contributor:
Lions RB Mikel Leshoure has accepted role as backup. But he's wide open to being traded to a team that would rely on him more.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 15, 2013
Leshoure later denied that he would 'welcome' a trade.
From Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press:
Schwartz on if he says something to Leshoure about trade rumors: "No, you guys handle that for me."— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) October 28, 2013
UPDATE: Thursday, Sept. 26
Josh Katzenstein of The Detroit News passes along a statement from Mikel Leshoure discussing recent trade rumors:
"I had never said (I would welcome a trade), but I'm sure it's just speculation because of my role on the team," Leshoure said. "People were just probably assuming. I didn’t ever reach out to anybody or try to talk to anybody."
However, when asked directly if he'd be open to a trade, Leshoure didn't say no.
"I just want to play," he said. "Like I said before, there's a lot of speculation because I'm not on the field and people just want to know what's going on. I want to play, and that's it."
Mikel Leshoure's inactivity was not at all due to injury, and it's hard to believe he'd want to ride the pine for the entire 2013 NFL season.
The offseason acquisition of free agent Reggie Bush gave the Lions a new starter in the backfield. Leshoure evidently couldn't do enough to separate himself from Bell to be the No. 2 back. Considering Bell ran for two touchdowns in the season opener, it doesn't seem there's a role in Leshoure's future moving forward.
Although Leshoure led the Lions in 2012 with 798 rushing yards and nine touchdowns to go with 34 receptions, this could be considered yet another draft disappointment for Detroit with regard to its running backs.
Granted, Jahvid Best was productive when he was healthy, but concussion problems have plagued his short career and ultimately caused the team to release him in July of this year. Best was the No. 30 overall pick in the 2010 draft, while Leshoure went 57th overall in 2011.
Leshoure encountered off-field issues while missing his entire rookie season with a torn Achilles, when he was suspended for the first two games of last season for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.
At least the Lions can take solace in the fact that Leshoure had a stellar first season of action, and that they seem to finally have a formidable running game for the first time since quarterback Matthew Stafford rose to stardom.
No specifics have surfaced with regard to who might be interested in acquiring Leshoure in a prospective trade, but there should be substantial interest.
The 23-year-old is a load to tackle at 233 pounds, and is an adequate receiver who could easily fill in as a backup on some NFL roster.
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