The Detroit Lions head into the 2014 season with a crowded, yet talented stable of running backs. With the overabundance of halfbacks on Detroit’s roster and perhaps not enough carries to go around, one question quickly comes to mind.
Is Lions RB Mikel Leshoure on the trade block in 2014?
“Yeah, I think he’s obviously a very talented guy. Did not get a lot of opportunities last year. Our system last year was really a two-back system. Whether he was up or Theo (Riddick) was up, if Joique and Reggie were healthy, they were going to get the bulk of the carries,” Mayhew said. “The few times he had the opportunity to be up, he didn’t get a whole lot of action. Couldn’t break into the top two.
“If you go back and look at what the Saints did, they used multiple backs in a lot of different ways. I’m encouraged about that for Mikel, and it could bode well for him in terms of getting more playing time and having a more specific, defined role in our offense. I’m encouraged by that for him and look forward to seeing him when he gets back.”
Leshoure was a second round pick for Detroit in 2011 and played in 14 games in 2012, rushing for 798 yards and nine touchdowns. He was barely used in 2013, though, playing in only three games and having two carries for nine yards.
I don’t see 2014 shaping up much better for former University of Illinois product, despite the Lions proclaimed plans for him.
With the addition of Reggie Bush in 2013, the emergence of Joique Bell and his admitted loss of explosiveness from his Achilles tendon tear in his rookie season, truthfully there just isn’t room for a bigger role in Detroit for Leshoure.
He currently sits fourth on the depth chart, behind Bush, Bell and Theo Riddick and that is not expected to change, no matter how strong he looks in camp.
All things considered, Leshoure is entering the final year of his rookie contract. With his veteran depth and inexpensive salary of just over $1 million, per Spotrac, it is highly unlikely Detroit outright cuts Leshoure, (although crazier things have happened).
However, with running back injuries becoming more and more frequent around the league, the Lions might just get a trade offer they cannot refuse for him.