How Can The Most Versatile Running Back In Detroit Lose His Job This Season?
Running back by committee has been a thing for the Detroit Lions over the past few years. While the addition of running back Ameer Abdullah in 2015 was supposed to be the main running back of the future, Riddick proved his worth and earned a contract extension heading into the 2016 season. Riddick would sign a 3-year deal for $11.55 million.
Riddick has been a solid receiving running back for the Lions during his tenure. While he is primarily known for catching the ball, he can run it as well. In 2017, Riddick had 84 carries for 286 yards and three touchdowns, while catching 53 passes for 444 yards and two touchdowns.
Riddick’s ability to make defenders miss with his juke moves and quickness is something in the NFL you want on your team. He can make plays last longer than they should and he can get extra yards with the effort he puts in. Those types of players are only worth so much though, and while Riddick isn’t over the hill yet in age, the change in scheme could lead to Riddick being out the door in 2018.
Theo Riddick’s Interesting 2018 Outlook
With the addition of rookie running back Kerryon Johnson and free agent LeGarrette Blount, Detroit’s backfield just got a little tighter. Blount is expected to be the power back of the group, and it is highly unlikely that the Lions cut second-round pick, Johnson, before the season even starts, so both of those guys are safe. Along with that, those backs seem to be the leading backs at OTA’s so far.
Running backs Dwayne Washington and Zach Zenner are the most likely candidates to get cut, but two interesting cuts that could happen are Abdullah and Riddick. While Abdullah could have a higher trade interest, Riddick most likely won’t have that same value.
While his contract isn’t ridiculous, he still makes a good chunk of change for a one-dimensional type of back, and not many teams would be willing to pay him the same amount. Along with that, his skills at running the ball aren’t as strong as when he catches it, and you’d be looking for a while for a team that wants that as their main back. Riddick’s chances of staying go up if he takes a pay cut, but if he doesn’t want to do that, he could be on the free agent market.