For someone in the middle of trade rumors, Tyrell Crosby didn’t look the part of a disgruntled player. On a hot Tuesday afternoon, the fourth-year offensive lineman answered question after question about his future with the team in his first media appearance since the NFL Draft, and he did it with a big, cheery smile on his face.
He’s seen the rumors on the internet, but he hasn’t bothered to click any links. As for what the front office has told him, he said it’s been there’s been little chatter about a trade, so he’s just focused on what’s in front of him.
“Really haven’t heard much from the front office or anything about it,” Crosby said. “So I’m just here excited and thankful to be here and just compete.”
2021 could be a big year for Crosby. He’s on the final year of his contract, and could be in for a significant payday next offseason. He’s been a spot starter for his entire career, but when called upon, Crosby has consistently given Detroit solid play in injury relief.
But when the Lions drafted Penei Sewell in April, the chance to boost his resume before payday next year may have gone out the window. Pending an injury, that right tackle job is Sewell’s. However, if you expected Crosby to sulk about it, you don’t know Tyrell Crosby. He and Sewell became good friends at Oregon, and it was all smiles for Crosby on draft night.
“Seeing him when he got drafted, I was probably one of the happiest people on Earth, because that was my friend who got drafted and I couldn’t be more proud of him,” Crosby said.
“For me, I took that moment as football is finite to me, but friendships can last forever, and he’s a great friend of mine. So I wasn’t thinking anything football-related. I was just so excited to see my friend, who I know has put in so much work, get the opportunity that he deserved and get drafted in the first round, because that’s a special feeling.”
Crosby decided to sit out the Lions’ first two weeks of voluntary OTA practices, a move many believe was a sign of frustration amidst trade rumors. Crosby denied that on Tuesday.
“Not really. So last year, I learned you can do OTAs and work from wherever you’re at, and I had a solid year last year,” Crosby said. “I pretty much had to miss my entire family throughout all last season. That was the first time I haven’t had the opportunity to have like any family members at a home game. (They) missed my birthday, Thanksgiving, all that. So I just spent that time with family, being appreciative of loved ones, because (the practices) weren’t mandatory.”
So while the Lions haven’t exactly put Crosby in the greatest position to maximize his value in a contract year, the swing tackle is taking it in strides. After all, during Crosby’s first three years with the team, he’s rarely been considered a starter (18 total starts). He’s used to it by now.
“Since they first drafted me in 2018, whatever my role for the team, I’ve gone out and just did it to my best ability, and everyday I’m going to go in and compete.”