Running back Stevan Ridley found a new home in 2016, signing with the Detroit Lions, the player announced on Instagram. This will be his third team in three years. Ridley gave a long and passionate thank you to the New York Jets, even though he didn't do much with the team. He then promised Lions fans that he will reward their vote of confidence.
"I can't be happier for another shot to tote this pill and showcase the gifts I've been truly blessed with," he said. "Detroit, I've got a surprise for you this year, I promise."
Ridley got his start with the New England Patriots, being a third-round pick out of LSU in the 2011 NFL Draft. After a promising rookie year with 441 rushing yards on 5.1 yards per carry, Ridley was promoted to the starting job in 2012. He racked up 1,263 yards and 12 touchdowns that season, but often frustrated head coach Bill Belichick with ball security issues and a lack of pass-catching talent.
By 2013 Ridley had already fallen out of favor and was splitting time with LeGarrette Blount, although he still had decent production with 773 yards and seven touchdowns. He continued playing a committee role until a torn ACL ended his 2014 season early.
With his health up in the air and Patriots career going nowhere, Ridley opted to take a one-year "prove it" deal with the Jets. However, he was a non-factor again, spending most of the year buried on the depth chart behind Chris Ivory, Bilal Powell and Zac Stacy. Injuries forced Ridley into a bigger role down the stretch, but he finished the year with just 90 yards on 36 carries.
"New York I hate that I couldn't do more for you this past year, but the opportunity ya'll gave me after my injury to do what I love the most ... I can never put a price on," Ridley said on Instagram. "The relationships I've gained with my brothers in New York, as well as developing a sense of true patience will take me much further beyond the game of football."
Now 27, Ridley is getting another chance to revive his NFL career.