Rhodes leaves Super Bowl champs for Raiders

Rhodes leaves Super Bowl champs for Raiders

Rhodes leaves Super Bowl champs for Raiders
Associated Press

Running back Dominic Rhodes is going from the Super Bowl champions to the team that posted the worst record in the NFL last season, after agreeing Friday to a two-year contract with the Oakland Raiders that could be worth up to $7.5 million.

"I just want to come in and help this team win," Rhodes said. "It's an honor to be here and an awesome experience to play for the Raiders. The whole history of the Raiders, I love it."

Rhodes will likely split time in Oakland with LaMont Jordan, who is staying with the team after agreeing earlier in the week to reduce his roster bonus from $4.75 million to $3 million. Jordan rushed for only 434 yards and two touchdowns before going down with a season-ending knee injury Nov. 19.

The Raiders had one of the worst offenses on NFL history last year on the way to a 2-14 record. They scored just 168 points - fifth fewest ever in a 16-game season - and had only 12 offensive touchdowns. Oakland had the worst ranked offense and ranked 29th out of 32 teams in yards rushing.

New coach Lane Kiffin was brought in to upgrade the offense. The team already cut ties with last year's starting quarterback, Aaron Brooks, and is expected to use the No. 1 draft pick on either quarterback JaMarcus Russell of LSU or Brady Quinn of Notre Dame.

"Dominic will be a dynamic presence that can diversify our offense both as a runner and pass catcher," Kiffin said. "He is focused and determined to come here and compete immediately with our other running backs."

Earlier in the week, the Raiders signed offensive lineman Jeremy Newberry to a $1.5 million, one-year deal.

Rhodes, who has played his entire six-year career with Indianapolis, will be counted on to improve a running game that averaged 3.9 yards per carry in 2006.

He started all 16 regular-season games last season, rushing for 641 yards and five touchdowns. After backing up Edgerrin James since entering the league, Rhodes shared the job last season with rookie Joseph Addai. He has 2,274 yards rushing in his career.

Rhodes had one of his best performances in the Colts' Super Bowl win over the Chicago Bears, rushing for 113 yards in Indianapolis' 29-17 victory.

Just a few weeks later, Rhodes was arrested for drunken driving after being pulled over for driving 81 mph in a 55-mph zone near Indianapolis. If convicted of the class A misdemeanor, penalties range from no jail time to one year behind bars. A conviction on a first-time offense typically results in probation, a fine and substance abuse treatment, according to prosecutors.

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