Raiders Strike Deal With Former Lions Starting Running Back

jon gruden

Las Vegas Raiders HC Jon Gruden.

News dropped earlier that the Las Vegas Raiders were bringing several players in for tryouts this week. Former Detroit Lions running back Theo Riddick was among the players who reportedly tried out despite the fact that the team already has a lot of running backs. Well, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN, the two sides have agreed to a one-year deal.

Prior to missing all of last season with a shoulder injury, Riddick was one of the more productive running backs in the passing game. He has over 2,000 receiving yards in his career. He’s not much of a factor in the running game as he has barely over 1,000 rushing yards in 84 career games played. If he’s fully healthy he could have a shot at making the team.

How Riddick Fits on the Roster

The signing of Riddick seems slightly weird. He plays a very similar game to that of Jalen Richard. Richard was rewarded a contract extension this offseason so it doesn’t seem like he’s going anywhere. That’s not to mention the fact that the Raiders already look like they have four running backs who could make the roster.

Josh Jacobs is in for the long haul, Richard isn’t going anywhere and the team seems to like both Devontae Booker and Rod Smith. There is also rookie Lynn Bowden Jr. who will line up all over the field, including at running back. Adding Riddick doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense, especially when you consider the fact the Raiders signed and cut Jeremy Hill within a week. Riddick is a good player but it’s hard to imagine he’s on the roster come the regular season.

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Bowden Showing off Versatility

While there are some question marks at running back, we know that Bowden isn’t going anywhere. The rookie still has some work to do but he’s got a ton of upside and apparently he’s impressing in training camp.

“Lynn Bowden Jr. has flashed his versatility. The rookie has lined up all over the place: Wildcat quarterback, running back, split out wide at receiver and taking kick and punt returns,” Tashan Reed of The Athletic wrote Saturday.

“He may not make a huge statistical impact this season, but that positional flexibility should give him plenty of opportunities to get on the field in various situations. He’s stocky in person at 204 pounds and has looked fluid taking carries out of the backfield. It’s hard to judge his runs since defenders can’t tackle him yet, but one thing that’s stood out is he has a long way to go as a pass blocker.”

The Raiders have previously teased a Taysom Hill-type role for Bowden and that could bring a very interesting dynamic to the offense. It sounds like his role won’t be very defined at first but he’s going to be a playmaker. Having a player like Bowden will give Jon Gruden a chance to be way more creative than he’s ever been.

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