5 issues to know in regards to the Patriots’ reported settlement with RB Ezekiel Elliott


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

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott gestures to the crowd as he leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021.
Ezekiel Elliott had as many speeding touchdowns in 2022 as all the 2022 Patriots roster. (AP Photograph/Roger Steinman)

The Patriots have reportedly discovered their assist at operating again.

In accordance with NFL Community’s Ian Rapoport, the Patriots are anticipated to signal former Cowboys operating again Ezekiel Elliott to a one-year contract price 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 operating 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Elliott confirmed the information on Twitter, saying that he’ll put on No. 15 — his outdated collegiate quantity at Ohio State — in Foxborough.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 operating again.

1. Elliott was one of the feared operating 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 go together 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 via goal-line conditions and combat for further 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 over time, averaging 57.5 receptions per season from 2018-21.

In his prime, Elliott was an every-down again able to carving up defenses in quite a lot of methods. He completed his profession in Dallas with 1,881 carries for 8,262 yards, 305 catches for two,336 yards, and 80 whole 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 have 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 in the end opted to chop ties with Elliott in March. The transfer saved Dallas about $11 million below the wage cap for the upcoming 2023 season.

Regardless 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 complete 2022 Patriots roster achieved. 

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

Regardless that Elliott will not be the identical participant he was a couple of 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 whole yards), New England ran the gifted again into the bottom because the season carried on. Throughout the last weeks of the 2022 marketing campaign, an ankle damage 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 with a view to hold him contemporary. However fewer reps in the summertime received’t imply all that a lot if Stevenson is as soon as once more operating on an empty tank by Week 14 or 15. 

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

An early-camp damage for Ty Montgomery additional difficult 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 shortage 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 considerations throughout New England’s offense

Elliott’s versatile talent set ought to turn out to be useful for New England, past simply his potential 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 proportion.

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 via a wall of defenders close to the tip zone.

As noted by Chad Graff of The Athletic, Elliott ranked seventh amongst NFL operating 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 caring for the soccer. Elliott has solely fumbled as soon as during the last two seasons (532 touches).

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

And given the state of New England’s offensive line, Elliott’s status as one of many higher pass-blocking operating backs ought to turn out to be useful. 

5. New England reportedly made a concerted effort to deliver 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 although he left and not using a deal in place, each events ultimately 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 operating again was noticed having dinner out in Boston with Mac Jones. 

“I feel it’s actually necessary as a pacesetter 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 taking part in an lively 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 have now within the room, as a result of it’s lots sufficient, and we simply have gotten to return collectively and make it work.”

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