October 1, 2023


Elliott’s arrival in Foxborough will assist lighten Rhamondre Stevenson’s workload shifting ahead.

Ezekiel Elliott had as many speeding touchdowns in 2022 as the whole 2022 Patriots roster. (AP Photograph/Roger Steinman)

The Patriots have reportedly discovered their assist at working again.

In line with NFL Community’s Ian Rapoport, the Patriots are anticipated to signal former Cowboys working again Ezekiel Elliott to a one-year contract value as much as $6 million.

Elliott performed the primary seven seasons of his profession with the Dallas Cowboys. The 28-year-old will possible function New England’s backup working again behind Rhamondre Stevenson on the depth chart.

Elliott confirmed the information on Twitter, saying that he’ll put on No. 15 — his outdated collegiate quantity at Ohio State — in Foxborough.

Listed here are 5 issues to learn about New England’s settlement with the working again.

1. Elliott was some of the feared working backs within the league

Since arriving within the NFL in 2016, Elliott spent most of his seven-year profession as a focus of the Dallas Cowboys’ offense.

Throughout his tenure with the Cowboys, Elliott earned two All-Professional nods (2016, 2018) to associate with three Professional Bowl nominations (2016, 2018-19).

Elliott has surpassed 1,000 speeding yards 3 times in his profession, utilizing his 6-foot-0, 226-pound body to burst by means of goal-line conditions and struggle for additional yardage. However the former Buckeyes star is greater than only a weapon within the trenches.

Elliott developed right into a dependable receiving risk for Dak Prescott through the years, averaging 57.5 receptions per season from 2018-21.

In his prime, Elliott was an every-down again able to carving up defenses in a wide range of methods. He completed his profession in Dallas with 1,881 carries for 8,262 yards, 305 catches for two,336 yards, and 80 complete touchdowns.

2. 2022 was a down season…by Elliott’s requirements

Regardless of his spectacular physique of labor, issues went south for Elliott in 2022.

In 15 video games (14 begins with Dallas), he averaged simply 3.8 yards per carry and solely reeled in 17 catches. His 876 speeding yards had been the bottom of his profession, with Dallas allocating extra reps to backup Tony Pollard because the season went on.

With Pollard (5.2 yards per carry) making the Professional Bowl, the Cowboys finally opted to chop ties with Elliott in March. The transfer saved Dallas about $11 million underneath the wage cap for the upcoming 2023 season.

Despite the fact that recurring knee points sapped Elliott of a few of his explosiveness over the previous couple of seasons, he nonetheless put up productive numbers throughout his snaps in 2022.

In a “down” season, Elliott scored 12 speeding touchdowns — equaling the variety of speeding scores that the total 2022 Patriots roster achieved. 

3. Elliott’s arrival fills a urgent emptiness on New England’s depth chart

Despite the fact that Elliott will not be the identical participant he was just a few years in the past, his presence alone ought to assist alleviate a New England roster in determined want of our bodies behind Rhamondre Stevenson.

Regardless of Stevenson’s breakthrough efficiency in 2022 (1,461 complete yards), New England ran the gifted again into the bottom because the season carried on. Through the closing weeks of the 2022 marketing campaign, an ankle harm restricted Stevenson to simply 13 speeding makes an attempt over New England’s final two video games.

New England has prescribed extra load administration for Stevenson this preseason in an effort to preserve him contemporary. However fewer reps in the summertime gained’t imply all that a lot if Stevenson is as soon as once more working on an empty tank by Week 14 or 15. 

Second-year gamers Kevin Harris and Pierre Sturdy had been seen as potential contributors after New England reduce free-agent pickup James Robinson earlier this offseason. However thus far, neither participant has notably popped in camp, regardless of the potential reps up for grabs.

An early-camp harm for Ty Montgomery additional sophisticated issues for the Patriots. The veteran has the skillset to develop right into a reliable pass-catching again for Mac Jones, however he has not been current at New England’s practices for shut to 2 weeks now.

Given the necessity to spell Stevenson and the dearth of confirmed choices behind him, signing Elliott stood as a logical transfer for Invoice Belichick, Matt Groh, and the remainder of New England’s teaching and player-personnel employees.

4. Elliott’s talent set ought to tackle some issues throughout New England’s offense

Elliott’s versatile talent set ought to come in useful for New England, past simply his means to lighten Stevenson’s workload.

New England’s red-zone offense was dreadful in 2022 — rating thirty second out of 32 NFL groups with a 42.2 p.c landing share.

However in short-yardage conditions, even a banged-up Elliott was a helpful asset for the Cowboys final season. Of his 12 speeding touchdowns final season, seven got here from the 1-yard line — with Elliott the most effective within the league at utilizing his sturdy body to barrel by means of a wall of defenders close to the tip zone.

As noted by Chad Graff of The Athletic, Elliott ranked seventh amongst NFL working backs at third-down conversions final season — gaining first downs on 67 p.c of his third-down carries. 

He’ll additionally earn factors from Belichick and his employees for taking good care of the soccer. Elliott has solely fumbled as soon as over the past two seasons (532 touches).

With Montgomery nonetheless working his approach again from harm, Elliott also can step in as a dependable receiving risk within the backfield for Jones.

And given the state of New England’s offensive line, Elliott’s fame as one of many higher pass-blocking working backs ought to come in useful. 

5. New England reportedly made a concerted effort to convey Elliott aboard

Contemplating the dearth of choices behind Stevenson, Elliott grew to become a precedence for the Patriots as this preseason carried on. The Patriots hosted Elliott on a free-agent go to earlier this summer season, and though he left with out a deal in place, each events finally bridged the hole on a contract.

Chris Price of The Boston Globe tweeted Monday {that a} deal between New England and Elliott has been “percolating for a few month now”, with the Patriots” outbidding the remainder of the sector for Elliott”. 

Throughout Elliott’s free-agent go to to Foxborough, the working again was noticed having dinner out in Boston with Mac Jones. 

“I believe it’s actually essential as a frontrunner to simply try to go on the market and present them that we’re all right here to be collectively and to win. … It’s by no means a foul factor, proper,” Jones stated of enjoying an energetic position in recruiting gamers to New England. “You wish to have as many nice gamers as you possibly can. I’ve simply been actually happy with the fellows we’ve within the room, as a result of it’s loads sufficient, and we simply have gotten to come back collectively and make it work.”

Despite the fact that Jones stated on the time that New England has “loads sufficient” already in its locker room, each present and former Patriots expressed their enthusiasm for Elliott’s arrival on Twitter Monday night time.