Detroit Lions: Is Theo Riddick becoming expendable?
The running back position looks deeper than it has in recent years for the Detroit Lions. So deep, that some good players have to get cut loose.
Preseason football isn’t something to take too seriously, but it is important. The Detroit Lions have much to work on, but lots to look forward to.
A huge priority to get the running game going was emphasized in the first exhibition matchup of 2018. An interesting absence for the Lions against the Oakland Raiders was running back Theo Riddick.
Not only has he been quiet in training camp, he missed the game with an unknown injury. Most of his running mates were impressive. All but one running back had at least four yards per carry.
One game isn’t the end all be all, but it begs the question. Is Riddick that irreplaceable?
To make better sense of where I’m coming from, I’ll start with a player who’s pratically a clone of the pass catching back. That player is Ameer Abdullah.
Minus consistency as a pass protector, Abdullah can do the same if not better than his teammate in the same role. As a matter of fact, Riddick had a higher fumble rate and lower catch rate in 2017. Throw in a cheaper price tag, the fourth year back could become the new third down back.
Another player fresh on the scene that had a fabulous welcome to the NFL game was Kerryon Johnson. The rookie is a better pass protector than either veteran and can play all three downs. His presence on the team pushes one of the other’s roles way down.
With two other running backs who offer exciting skill sets on passing downs, the sixth year star is looking more expendable. He’s also the most expensive.
Third down backs are very important in the modern-day league. They don’t get much better than Riddick. With that said, he’d likely get better trade value because of his reputation.
Trading Abdullah, who could end up as a better receiving back, offers more as a runner and returner, is cheaper and likely gets you a lower caliber draft pick or player, doesn’t make sense.
Obviously keeping both is the best option, but perhaps trading Riddick is the only way to get a 2019 third round pick back. If Detroit can’t receive anything but a third rounder for any running back, there’s no reason to move on from anyone.
Fan favorites are always hard to let go of. The possibility the Detroit Lions move on from Theo Riddick is more than what fans realize.