Boston, Massachusetts — Ezekiel Elliott, a free agency running back, announced on social media on Monday that he would be joining the New England Patriots.
Elliott tweeted, “One Five, all the way live! @Patriots,” making reference to his intention to wear jersey No. 15, which is the same number he wore for Ohio State in college. With the Cowboys, he wore No. 21.
According to a source who spoke to ESPN, Elliott and the Patriots have reached an agreement on a one-year contract that will help fill one of the team’s most understaffed positions. According to a source who spoke to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Elliott’s one-year contract with the Patriots contains a $3 million base salary and a $1 million signing bonus that could be worth up to $6 million in incentives.
The top complement to Rhamondre Stevenson, the No. 1 option, is projected to be Elliott, who spent the first seven years of his career with Dallas.
Coach Bill Belichick has historically distributed the early down workload between two running backs for the Patriots. Before welcoming Stephen Jones on a visit on July 29, Belichick spoke with the Cowboys executive vice president for insight and an assessment of the former two-time NFL rushing champion.
Since his release, Elliott has not previously met with a team. Later, he had dinner with Mac Jones of the Patriots, among others, and maintained an open line of communication with team officials.
The arrangement with Elliott was first reported by NFL Network.
Elliott, who was cut by the Cowboys on March 15 due to salary cap concerns, had a career-low 876 running yards in 2022, but he continued to be a top short-yardage back and pass protector while also scoring 12 touchdowns. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, he had the poorest average of 51 running backs who received at least 100 touches last year, averaging just 3.9 yards per touch.
This season’s Week 4 matchup between the Patriots and Cowboys is set for Sunday, Oct. 21.
During training camp, it was apparent that the Patriots lacked depth at running back. Second-year players Pierre Strong Jr. and Kevin Harris have been supporting Stevenson, but Strong, a fourth-round draft pick out of South Dakota State in 2022, has missed practice the last two days for unknown reasons. Ty Montgomery, a seasoned player, has also been sidelined due to a left leg/knee injury received in camp’s second practice. The depth chart is completed by third-year player J.J Taylor and former USFL rusher C.J. Marable.
James Robinson, 먹튀검증 a former running back for the New York Jets and the Jacksonville Jaguars, was signed by the Patriots in March before being released in June.