Colts Super Bowl hero Rhodes chooses Raiders

Updated: March 10, 2007, 2:30 AM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

Running back Dominic Rhodes, one of the heroes of the Indianapolis Colts' Super Bowl XLI championship less than two months ago, is headed to the team that finished the 2006 season with the league's worst record.

More from Scouts Inc.
Scouts Inc. has a complete breakdown of the Dominic Rhodes signing, as well as all the Raiders' offseason moves:
• Raiders free-agent signings
• Insider analysis of Rhodes Insider

Rhodes on Friday morning agreed with the Oakland Raiders on a two-year deal, which was announced later in the day, that can be worth as much as $7.5 million. Rhodes had generated considerable interest as an unrestricted free agent and made several visits, but met with Oakland officials earlier this week and was sold on the opportunity there.

"I just want to come in and help this team win," Rhodes said, according to The Associated Press. "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."

The sixth-year veteran will serve as an insurance policy for the Raiders, in the event incumbent starter LaMont Jordan does not bounce back from the medial collateral ligament injury that limited him to nine games in 2006. More likely, however, the two will split the ball-carrying duties in the Oakland backfield.

Jordan earlier this week reworked his contract, reducing a roster bonus that was due him, to remain with the Raiders. After rushing for 1,025 yards in 2005, his first season in Oakland after four years with the New York Jets, Jordan slumped to 434 yards in 2006.

Dominic Rhodes
Rhodes

Rhodes, 28, played six seasons in Indianapolis, appearing in 71 games and starting in 27 contests. The former Midwestern State (Texas) standout made the Colts' roster as an undrafted college free agent in 2001, then further beat the odds by rushing for over 1,000 yards as a rookie, when he replaced an injured Edgerrin James.

He carried 550 times for 2,274 yards and 19 touchdowns in six seasons and added 90 receptions for 649 yards and one touchdown.

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

Last year, in the Colts' Super Bowl season, Rhodes started all 16 regular-season games before rookie Joseph Addai replaced him in the lineup at the outset of the playoffs. But Rhodes still played a significant role in the postseason and, in the Super Bowl victory over the Chicago Bears, he rushed for a game-high 113 yards.

Rhodes still faces a drunken-driving charge in Indiana, where police said he was pulled over early the morning of Feb. 20 driving a truck 81 mph in a 55-mph zone on an Indianapolis-area interstate.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.