Who’s the odd man out in the Detroit Lions’ offensive backfield?
Player: Theo Riddick
Height/Weight: 5-9, 201
2018 statistics: 14 games played, 171 rushing yards, 384 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns
2019 base salary: $4.625 million
Contract Status: Signed through 2019
Riddick, among the longest-tenured current Lions, has been an important part of the Lions offense since his second season in 2014. Since that year, he has averaged over 56 receptions per season as one of the most reliable catching backs in the NFL.
However, it’s unclear how he fits with Detroit going forward. He didn’t reach the end zone once in 2018, and he does not contribute on special teams. As a runner, he has never eclipsed 100 carries in a season and he saw his totes reduce drastically in 2018.
Financially, Riddick stands to make $4.625 million in 2019 in the final year of his deal. The Lions, would be looking at less than $1 million in dead money should they decide to cut Riddick outright. Can they justify keeping a player at that figure whose usage would be minimal?
Riddick remains one of the Lions best pass-protecting backs and would be a decent reserve should another player on this list suffer an injury prior to the season. In 2018 though, he faces some of the stiffest competition of his career to stick on the roster.
Keep tabs on Kerryon Johnson’s development in terms of pass protection and third down usage in training camp and during the preseason. Should he make significant gains there, it will help keep him on the field in passing situations and could essentially make Riddick expendable.
Chances of making the 53-man roster: 50 percent