Lions release running back Theo Riddick to make room for Mike Daniels

Lions release running back Theo Riddick to make room for Mike Daniels

The Lions surprisingly released longtime running back Theo Riddick to make room for former Packers star Mike Daniels, the team announced Saturday.

“Obviously, bringing in Mike, we needed to find a spot,” coach Matt Patricia told reporters Saturday. “Theo obviously is a great professional. He’s a great player. He did a lot of great things for us through the course of the years. We have all the respect in the world for everything that he’s done, but in many of those situations, we’re just going to try to do what’s best for the team.”

Riddick’s release clears around $3.66 million in cap space and leaves just $962,500 in dead cap for the Lions, NFL.com notes. He was heading into the final season of a three-year, $11.55 million extension with Detroit. 

Riddick was an effective back and a valuable pass-catcher for the Lions as he had 259 carries and 247 catches over the past four seasons, totaling 2,843 yards and 14 touchdowns. He has tallied 285 receptions throughout his six-year career, which includes a career-high 80 in 2015.

In a corresponding move, the Lions added Daniels to their roster after the 30-year-old defensive lineman was released earlier this week from the Packers following seven seasons with Green Bay. 

The Lions still have Kerryon Johnson lining up as the starter at running back. Detroit will also rely on recently signed C.J. Anderson, Zach Zenner, and rookie Ty Johnson.