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Report: Theo Riddick to Sign with Broncos over Saints 'Barring the Unexpected'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 1, 2019

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 11: Theo Riddick #25 of the Detroit Lions runs with the ball against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on November 11, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Free-agent running back Theo Riddick will sign with the Denver Broncos "barring the unexpected," according to 9News' Mike Klis.

Klis reported Monday that Riddick had narrowed his choices to the Broncos and New Orleans Saints.

The Detroit Lions released Riddick last week, ending his six-year stay in Detroit. He appeared in 14 games in 2018, running for 171 yards and catching 61 passes for 384 yards.

Assuming he finalizes his agreement with Denver, Riddick will bring a different dimension to the Broncos backfield.

Phillip Lindsay will open the year as the starting running back and primary ball-carrier, having run for 1,037 yards and nine touchdowns en route to the Pro Bowl as a rookie. Royce Freeman is a dependable No. 2 option as well after he ran for 521 yards and five touchdowns on the ground in his first season.

Neither can equal Riddick in terms of receiving, though.

Since the Lions selected him in the sixth round of the 2013 draft, Riddick is third among running backs in receptions (285) and fourth in receiving yards (2,238).

Field Yates @FieldYates

Full list of running backs with at least 50 catches in each of the past four seasons: * Theo Riddick https://t.co/AKgnxSBAKi

Given the team's depth at the position, Denver can play to Riddick's strengths without asking him to shoulder too much of the rushing burden.

His arrival could put Devontae Booker's future with the Broncos in jeopardy. The team's leading rusher (612 yards) in 2016, Booker has seen his stock slowly decline over the past two seasons.

Denver would save $720,000 and absorb $95,848 in dead money if it were to cut the fourth-year back, according to Over the Cap.