The Oakland Raiders announced on Friday that they have come to terms on a contract with former Indianapolis Colts running back Dominic Rhodes.
The deal is reported to be worth $7.5 million over two years. The deal includes a $1 million signing bonus and a $1.5 base salary for the 2007 season.
Rhodes also visited the New York Giants and Buffalo Bills before settling on a deal with the Raiders.
“Once McGahee was traded,” Mike McCartney, Rhodes’ agent, said, “a lot of options opened up for us. We decided the Raiders were a great fit.”
Dominic Rhodes is the first significant loss on the free agent market suffered by the Super Bowl Champion Indianapolis Colts.
Rhodes, who ran for 113 in a strong performance in the Colt’s 29-17 Super Bowl XLI victory over the Chicago Bears in February, joins a long list of NFL running backs to change teams during the free agency period.
“Dominic will be wearing the silver and black,” said McCartney, “He’s very excited about the opportunity.”
Rhodes, 28, is a six year veteran who was signed by the Indianapolis Colts as a free agent in 2001 of of Midwestern(Texas) State University.
Rhodes ran for 641 yards and five touchdowns last season with the Colts. He started all 16 regular season games although he split time with rookie running back Joseph Addai, who started all three postseason games. Despite that, Rhodes was the Colts’ leading rusher with 306 yards.
Rhodes has run for 2,274 yards and 19 touchdowns in his career. He has also racked up 649 yards and one touchdown receiving.
Rhodes became a free agent on March 2. He is expected to split time at running back with the Oakland Raiders with LaMont Jordan. Jordan is rebounding from a knee injury that prematurely ended his 2006 season.
In addition to Rhodes, Willis McGahee, Thomas Jones, Ahman Green, Jamal Lewis, and Tatum Bell have all signed with new teams this offseason. McGahee was traded from Buffalo to Baltimore, Green signed with Houston, Lewis signed with Cleveland, and Bell was traded from Denver to Detroit.
Rhodes was arrested earlier in the offseason for driving under the influence. The DUI case is pending in Indianapolis. He was arrested in the early morning of Feb. 20 near the Colts’ training complex after officers clicked him as driving 81 mph in a 55 mph zone.
According to a Marion County prosecutor, Rhodes’ blood-alcohol level tested at .09, just above the legal limit in Indiana of .08.
Rhodes’ contract with the Raiders includes language that will dock his pay if Rhodes ever receives an NFL imposed suspension stemming from the arrest according to an NFL source.