Broncos, Lions swap second-year pros Smith, Gronkowski

The Denver Broncos traded cornerback Alphonso Smith to the Detroit Lions for tight end Dan Gronkowski and an undisclosed draft pick, a league source said Saturday.

The Broncos later confirmed the trade while announcing their cuts.

Smith's departure bookends a frustrating chapter with the Broncos. Denver acquired Smith with the 37th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, swapping its first-round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft for the Seattle Seahawks' 2009 second-rounder -- a move that generated a fair share of second-guessing in the media.

"It speaks volumes that coach McDaniels and the Broncos staff thought I was a first-round talent so they gave up a first-round pick for me," Smith after being drafted. "Hopefully, it won't be so controversial after this season."

Smith, from Wake Forest, played in 15 games in his rookie year, recording just 14 tackles.

Gronkowski, 25, was drafted by the Lions in the seventh round last year out of Maryland. He appeared in two games last season, catching one pass for 4 yards.

Gronkowski is one of three brothers currently in the NFL. Chris Gronkowski is a rookie running back with the Dallas Cowboys, and Rob Gronkowski is a rookie tight end with the New England Patriots.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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