Former Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has inked a new deal with the New England Patriots. With the dust still settling on this recent development, let’s delve into the specifics of the contract and why both parties agreed to it.
- Duration: A succinct 1-year agreement.
- Total Value: The contract is worth up to a commendable $6 million.
- Base Salary: A substantial $3 million.
- Signing Bonus: Elliott pockets an impressive $1 million just for signing on the dotted line.
- Performance Incentives: If Elliott meets certain stipulated targets, the deal’s value could soar by an additional $2 million.
Why the Patriots and Elliott Made This Deal:
For the New England Patriots:
- Strengthening the Backfield: The Patriots’ strategy often revolves around a running back-by-committee approach. In Ezekiel Elliott, they’re not just getting a name, but a player known to be a difference-maker, particularly in short-yardage crunch moments and strong runs between the tackles.
- Tapping Into Experience and Skill: At just 28, Elliott stands as the second-highest rusher among all active running backs, boasting 8,262 career rushing yards. They don’t need him to be a bell-cow back, just a smart, situational runner and is still a superior talent at blocking and blitz pickup.
- Adding Depth and Versatility: With Damien Harris parting ways during free agency, Elliott steps in not just as a replacement but as an electrifying change-of-pace back. Moreover, a lighter workload could mean a fresher, more impactful Elliott throughout the season.
For Ezekiel Elliott:
- A Chance at Redemption: Elliott’s recent seasons with the Cowboys weren’t his best. The move to the Patriots is akin to turning over a new leaf, offering him a golden chance to re-establish his NFL supremacy.
- Attractive Financial Incentive: It may be a one year deal for not a ton of money, but Elliott’s contract is in-line with the current running back market. He now is on a team who genuinely wants him.
- Prominent Role in Offense: The Patriots might juggle their running backs, but Elliott’s prowess guarantees him a central role, be it in short-yardage runs or as a trustworthy option in passing plays. He is a great blocker, which may cause him to be on the field more than some may be expecting.