Finally, we’re starting to see some top running backs come off the board. Rex Burkhead has signed with the Patriots, according to a club announcement. It’s a one-year, $3.15MM deal, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter). That includes a $1.1MM signing bonus and $1.8MM in base salary. He can earn $250K via per-game roster bonuses.
The Pats’ running back depth chart is now led by Burkhead, James White, and Dion Lewis with 2016 undrafted free agent D.J. Foster in support. Burkhead could be given a chance to compete for the starting job.
The addition of Burkhead could spell the end of LeGarrette Blount‘s time with the Patriots. Blount is still without a team and the only thing we’ve heard this week is that the Seahawks are “monitoring” him. Of course, their interest level is unclear now that they have signed Eddie Lacy.
Last year, after Giovani Bernard went down, Burkhead stepped up to the plate and made a name for himself in the process. He averaged 4.6 yards per attempt for the Bengals. Now, the Patriots want to see if he can replicate that production in a larger sample. His 74 carries last year were, by far, a career high.
Burkhead was our No. 7 UFA running back this year, behind Eddie Lacy, Adrian Peterson, LeGarrette Blount, Latavius Murray, Jamaal Charles, Darren McFadden, and Jacquizz Rodgers. He was slotted ahead of notables like Rashad Jennings, Danny Woodhead, and DeAngelo Williams.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.