Rhodes joins Bills with two-year deal
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Running back Dominic Rhodes agreed to a two-year contact with the Buffalo Bills, giving Buffalo an established starter while Marshawn Lynch opens next season serving a three-game suspension.
The Bills needed to bolster their depth at running back after the NFL last week suspended Lynch without pay for violating the league's personal conduct policy. Lynch has until next week to appeal.
Rhodes is the latest addition to a revamped offense that will now feature receiver Terrell Owens. Buffalo is also retooling its offensive line after trading Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters to Philadelphia on Friday and releasing left guard Derrick Dockery in February.
The Bills are coming off three consecutive 7-9 seasons and haven't made the playoffs in nine years -- the longest drought in franchise history.
Rhodes spent the 2007 season with Oakland and returned to the Colts last season, sharing starting duties with Joseph Addai. In 15 games, Rhodes had 538 yards rushing, including a team-leading six touchdowns rushing. He added 302 yards and three TDs receiving.
His versatility as a rusher and receiver fits the Bills' offensive philosophy under coordinator Turk Schonert. Lynch and Jackson combined for 84 catches and 617 yards and a touchdown last season.
Meanwhile, third-year backup Fred Jackson is unhappy over contract talks. The Bills control Jackson's rights after offering him a $460,000 tender. Jackson, however, has yet to accept while attempting to negotiate a long-term deal.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press