— Detroit Lions (@Lions) August 25, 2016
Stevan Ridley has been cut by the Detroit Lions.
That raises the question, is a Pats comeback in order?
Ridley was a third round pick by the Patriots in 2011. In his four years with the team, there were peaks, and there were valleys. After a good rookie campaign, he broke out in 2012, rushing for 1263 yards and 12 touchdowns. In 2013, he rushed for 773 yards and seven touchdowns, but after just six games in 2014, Ridley tore his ACL and was placed on the injured reserve.
There was hope that he’d return in 2015, but LeGarrette Blount, another guy in the midst of a return to New England, had a killer second half in 2014. He became the Pats every down back and played a significant role on that Super Bowl XLIX champion team.
That pretty much sealed the deal for Ridley. He wasn’t coming back to a team that already had a number one back in place. Understandable, right? Yes. But that was then, and this is now, and a lot has changed over the course of a year.
After losing his job, Ridley bolted to New York for the 2015 season. With the Jets, he played nine games, rushed for only 90 yards and zero touchdowns.
This past April, he signed a one year deal with the Lions.
Today, they cut him, and that brings us back to the top, could he come back to the Patriots?
My opinion? Yes. I do think we could see Stevan Ridley in a Pats uniform again. The team’s running back situation is less than optimal. Blount is still there, yes, but is two years older and is slowly starting to decline. Ridley’s only 27. I think there’s gotta be something left in the tank.
Sure, his lone season in New York was terrible, but he missed the entire first half of the season. It’s difficult to get it going after that.
Right now, we’re a year removed from that, and during those first six games in 2014, Ridley looked more than capable of being a feature back on this roster. An injury derailed that and eventually sent him packing, but there was potential there. I’d love to see him back.
However, as I’ve said in the past, there’s a reason fans don’t run teams. We think with our hearts, not our brains. I certainly think Ridley does have something left to give. And with the current running back situation, I do think there’d be reason to bring him in.
But the Patriots’ front office could see this completely differently. The NFL doesn’t just stand for National Football League, it stands for Not For Long. The average NFL running back career lasts just over three years. Ridley’s entering his sixth year in the league. Bill Belichick knows that. He could, and probably does, see him as a guy who had a couple good years but is now over the hill.
Obviously I hope that’s not the case. I want Ridley. At the end of the day, though, I’m a Patriots fan first, I want what’s best for the team. If that means not signing Stevan Ridley, so be it.