Running back is still an important position in the modern NFL, but these five players are making way more money than they deserve.
Over the past decade the NFL has clearly started to place less and less importance on the running back position. It’s not that teams don’t require production from the backfield, it’s just that franchises now understand that even the best running backs in the league have relatively short shelf lives as productive players.
In other words, teams now view their franchise running backs as more replaceable than ever before. That makes the sin of overpaying a running back one of the worst things a front office can do. These five teams have entirely too much money tied up in these tailbacks.
5. Theo Riddick
Riddick is only the 14th highest paid back in the NFL, but it’s still a really bad contract for the Lions. They could certainly benefit from spending his $4.625 million salary elsewhere.
The 28-year-old just doesn’t do enough to boost the Detroit offense. He only carried the ball 40 times last season for 171 yards. Riddick is more involved as a pass receiver, but Matthew Stafford isn’t really benefiting from a player who soaks up 61 catches for just 384 yards.
The only way a running back should be making this kind of money is if he strikes legitimate fear in opposing defenses. Riddick just isn’t anywhere near that dynamic. His cap number doesn’t kill the Lions, but it still prevents them from making other moves to help strengthen the roster.