Report: Running back Theo Riddick to visit Broncos

Theo Riddick runs away from a defender. Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig, USA TODAY Sports.
Theo Riddick runs away from a defender. Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig, USA TODAY Sports.

The Denver Broncos have one of the deepest backfields in the NFL, and yet, they could be adding a playmaker in Theo Riddick.

According to Adam Schefter, Riddick who is formerly of the Detroit Lions, visited with the New Orleans Saints on Sunday and will visit the Mile High City in the immediate future.

Riddick, who was originally drafted in the sixth round of the 2013 selection process by the Lions, should be considered more of a wide receiver than a running back. He’s never taken more than 92 handoffs in a season though he has enjoyed four seasons with 53-plus receptions.

Of course, his versatility makes him a threat out of the backfield as defenses can’t know for sure if he’ll run the ball or have it thrown to him in the flat or over the middle. Interestingly, last season was his best as a running back in terms of yards per carry, with 40 rushes going for 171 yards (4.3 YPC). And while he didn’t have any scores on the ground in 2018, he rushed for three touchdowns the year before, with 357 yards.

Rewind to 2016 for his best receiving season in terms of touchdowns, when he found the end one five times. Last year was somewhat disappointing for the veteran in that aspect too, though, with 61 receptions for 384 yards and no touchdowns. That effort was his lowest yards per reception (6.3) of Riddick’s career.

So, what it all boils down to is the Broncos must first decide if Riddick is healthy enough to play. If so, he’ll be competing with Devontae Booker for the rest of training camp for that third running back position behind Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman.

Freeman could actually get more carries this year than Lindsay, especially considering the blossoming star Lindsay is coming back from that broken wrist. While Riddick would immediately become the best pass-catching back, Lindsay proved his versatility as a rookie with 35 catches for 241 yards and one touchdown.

Still, Riddick would seemingly expand what the Broncos could do on offense if they find a way to sign him. Last year, Riddick earned $3.162 million, the second-most he’s brought in as a professional. If Denver could sign him for a friendlier deal around $2 million, they may pull the trigger. Stay tuned to see if Riddick is indeed signed in the next few days. It seems likely the Broncos would want him in camp in time for the Hall of Fame Game which kicks off on Thursday.

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