Antonio Gibson

Patriots To Sign RB Antonio Gibson

Antonio Gibson will be on the move when free agency begins. The dual-threat running back is set to join the Patriots, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

The Patriots will not devote too much money to complementing Rhamondre Stevenson, but the team will still authorize a deal north of the veteran minimum. Gibson will sign a three-year, $11.25MM pact, the Boston Herald’s Doug Kyed tweets.

The former Washington back will receive $5.3MM guaranteed, per Kyed, who indicates the contract can max out at $17MM. The Pats are guaranteeing $1.2MM of Gibson’s 2025 base salary ($2.35MM) at signing. This deal brings a bigger commitment than the Patriots gave Ezekiel Elliott last year, though Stevenson should still be expected to lead the way in his contract year.

Gibson, 25, has a history of operating as a supplementary option. The Memphis product, however, was not especially consistent in Washington. Gibson rushed for 1,037 yards in 2021, and he added 1,042 scrimmage yards as a rookie. The Commanders turned more to 2022 third-rounder Brian Robinson over the past two years, and Gibson will do fairly well on the contract front considering he only gained 265 rushing yards last season.

Eric Bieniemy‘s offense minimized Gibson, though last year’s 65-carry season also can be interpreted as a conservation effort through a long-term lens. While the Commanders are moving on, the Patriots will see if the former third-round pick can bounce back in what will still be a low-cost backfield. New OC Alex Van Pelt, after all, did spent four years in Cleveland, where a running back duo (Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt) played a major role.

Commanders Will Not Trade Jonathan Allen

The Commanders may be prepared to move at least one of their edge rushing duo of Montez Sweat and Chase Young, but another high-profile defender is not available. Per Adam Schefter of, Washington will not be dealing DT Jonathan Allen, regardless of whether the club loses to the Eagles today and drops to 3-5.

According to Schefter, the Commanders received trade inquiries on Allen following their loss to the Giants last week. While these types of reports often suggest that a team will only move a player if it is “blown away” by an offer, Washington is reportedly unwilling to even discuss the two-time Pro Bowler.

Of course, Sweat and Young are in contract years, while Allen is under club control through 2025. And though Allen carries a salary cap charge that ranks in the top-10 among defensive players and will carry $20MM+ cap hits in each of the next two seasons, that is not terribly unreasonable for a high-end defensive tackle capable of pressuring opposing quarterbacks from the interior of the line.

Despite the fact that Pro Football Focus’ metrics have generally considered Allen to be an average defender against the run, PFF has awarded the Alabama product high marks for his pass-rushing acumen, which is supported by the 16.5 sacks and 47 QB hits he has compiled over the past two seasons. His durability — he has played in at least 15 games every season since 2018 — further enhances his value.

Allen is clearly viewed as a long-term cornerstone, but in addition to Sweat and Young, other platform-year players like QB Jacoby Brissett, RB Antonio Gibson, WR Curtis Samuel, and CB Kendall Fuller are all possible trade candidates, according to Schefter (the ESPN scribe also named LB Cody Barton as a player that could be on the move, but Barton was placed on IR yesterday).

Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of confirm that other clubs have inquired on Fuller, who had two pick-sixes last year and who has added two more interceptions and six passes defensed through seven games in 2023. Among qualified players, PFF presently considers Fuller the fourth-best corner this season and is especially bullish on his coverage ability.

Latest On Commanders Extension Talks, Front Office Moves

The Commanders have a number of players heading into contract years, including Montez Sweat and Chase Young. We previously heard that the team’s talks with Sweat were on hold following Josh Harris‘ purchase of the team, but Ron Rivera hinted that extension talks with impending free agents could soon resume.

[RELATED: Commanders’ Montez Sweat Extension Plans On Hold]

Speaking to reporters (including ESPN’s John Keim), the Commanders head coach revealed that the coaching staff and front office continues to prepare for negotiations as ownership settles.

“There’s a lot to do,” Rivera said. “To assume anything will happen immediately is unfair; they are still learning and understanding us. We’re still talking with them and trying to get things lined up and in order.”

While the two pass rushers are the most notable players with expiring contracts, the Commanders have other extension-worthy players. This grouping includes running back Antonio Gibson, cornerback Kendall Fuller, and wide receiver Curtis Samuel.

Among the team’s impending free agents, Sweat seems like the most likely to re-sign. Keim previously noted that the Commanders would like to extend the edge rusher. Young’s future with the team is in question after the organization declined the former second-overall pick’s fifth-year option. The Commanders will presumably let Young play out the 2023 campaign before deciding how to proceed.

While the team may be taking their time with player extensions, the Commanders have been busy adding to their front office. With Harris officially taking over the organization, the owner has made his first splash, hiring Craig Fischer as CFO (per Nicki Jhabvala and Mark Maske of the Washington Post). Meanwhile, former Atlanta Hawks COO/MetLife Stadium visionary Thad Sheely has been brought on as a consultant, per Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports (via Twitter). Jhabvala adds (on Twitter) that Sheely has been brought in to advise “on real estate and stadium matters.”

Commanders’ Antonio Gibson Eyeing Increased Role

The 2023 season will be the first with Eric Bieniemy at the helm of the Commanders’ offense, and changes in roles and workloads for a number of players should be expected as a result. Antonio Gibson could be a beneficiary in that regard, and he is hopeful to see more work as a pass-catcher this year.

The 25-year-old played as a receiver in college, but he was widely expected to operate as a running back upon his arrival in the NFL. Gibson has showcased his two-way skillet to date with the Commanders, especially last season when he was supplanted by Brian Robinson as the lead back. A continuation of that setup could allow him to return to a more familiar offensive role.

“Hopefully, this year, it comes around to where I can showcase on multiple occasions what I can do out there,” Gibson said during a team interview (video link). “I love being out there. I have fun out there, and once I get the ball in open space, I’m really that guy.”

The Memphis product had a down year in terms of total production from scrimmage, but his receiving yardage (353) was the highest of his career. That helped earn him the continued support of head coach Ron Rivera, and solidify his role as a contributor both on offense and special teams (as a kick returner) heading into the final year of his rookie contract. Production on the ground and in the air could boost Gibson’s free agent value considerably.

Washington has Robinson on the books for three more seasons, and the team added Chris Rodriguez Jr. in this year’s draft. Free agent signing Jonathan Williams and former UDFA Jaret Patterson are also available as depth options in the backfield, but Gibson should shoulder much of the pass-catching duties vacated by J.D. McKissic. He will also look to compete for targets against a WR room led by Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson, Curtis Samuel and Dyami Brown.

Bieniemy has a background in Kansas City of using offensive skill players in creative ways, so it will be interesting to see how Gibson’s workload takes shape during training camp. His performance during the summer will go a long way in determining how he is deployed ahead of an important season for both player and team.

Commanders Rumors: Gibson, Rivera, Quon

The Commanders running backs room has some exciting depth with a fully healthy Brian Robinson entering his sophomore season and sixth-round pick out of Kentucky Christopher Rodriguez coming in as the new rookie in the position room. While Robinson and Rodriguez elicit some excitement in the nation’s capital, head coach Ron Rivera is still excited about what fourth-year back Antonio Gibson brings to the room.

Gibson seems to often be forgotten despite a string of strong performances to open his career. As a rookie, Gibson shouldered the lead-back duties en route to 1,042 scrimmage yards (795 rushing, 247 receiving) and 11 rushing touchdowns. In his sophomore season, he showed improvement with 1,331 scrimmage yards (1,037 rushing, 294 receiving) and 10 total touchdowns (seven rushing, three receiving). Last season, Gibson gracefully took a back seat, allowing Robinson to come into the lead-back role after recovering from his gunshot wound.

Gibson started the first five contests of the season until Robinson was ready to take the reins. Even after allowing Robinson to start taking more and more carries, Gibson stayed ready, rushing for double-digit carries when asked and continuing to perform as the team’s best receiving back. He was, in fact, one of the league’s best receiving backs, finishing below only 49ers star Christian McCaffrey in receiving rating for running backs, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). Not only that, but Gibson even took on additional duties, returning kicks for the team from Week 6 on.

Gibson should continue in a third-down/passing-down role and should continue to contribute strongly off the bench. The coaches are still excited about what he can do, and Gibson should be motivated to continue making the most of his opportunities with free agency looming on the horizon of the season.

Here are a few more rumors coming out of Washington, D.C.:

  • Lost in all the recent conversations of a potential ownership change in Washington is its impact on other team leaders. Rivera has experienced a change of regimes before in Carolina, when the franchise changed hands from Jerry Richardson to David Tepper. Rivera told Matthew Paras of The Washington Times that, while Richardson was a bit more hands-off, Tepper required “constant feedback and attention to things.” Tepper’s need for involvement was not something for which Rivera had been prepared, but now, having had that experience, Rivera feels he knows what it will take to “mesh” with the team’s future ownership. “I’ve got to be very specific and very clear cut with what our vision is going forward,” Rivera told Paras. “And it has to mesh…When that opportunity comes, when I sit down (with new ownership) and go through the explanation, I’m going to be very concise.”
  • The Commanders made an addition to their training staff this month, rehiring assistant athletic trainer Doug Quon to his previous role, according to Nicki Jhabvala and Mark Maske of The Washington Post. Quon was placed on administrative leave a bit over 18 months ago during an investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration into head athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion. Quon was placed on leave shortly after Vermillion, but Quon was never charged and was never officially tied to the activities that got Vermillion suspended from working with any NFL team indefinitely. After being approved by both the NFL and the NFL Players Association, Quon officially rejoined the Commanders at rookie minicamps earlier this month.

Commanders Looking To Add Running Back

A desire to for an even more run-oriented offense served as one of the disagreements between Ron Rivera and since-ousted OC Scott Turner last season. The Commanders ranked fourth in the NFL in rushing attempts in 2022 and stood down in free agency, despite many starter-caliber backs being available at low rates.

Rivera still wants to add another piece at the position, John Keim of tweets. Washington released J.D. McKissic, who had backtracked on a Buffalo commitment in 2022 to re-sign with the team, last month to clear some cap space. And Rivera indicated Antonio Gibson, who saw Brian Robinson move into his role as the team’s lead running back, can step into the McKissic role.

Still, the Commanders can be expected to bring in another notable player at this spot. The team’s potential sale has held up some offseason matters, including signing bonus finality, but a running back addition would likely not qualify as a major financial investment. This year brought a deep class of backs in free agency, but most have found homes — many doing so on low-cost deals. Ezekiel Elliott, Kareem Hunt and Leonard Fournette remain unattached, however.

Washington has used Round 3 to add each of its current backfield mainstays, taking Gibson in 2020 and Robinson in 2022. Gibson is going into a contract year. Former UDFA Jaret Patterson and veteran Jonathan Williams, signed off the Giants’ practice squad in December 2021, round out the Commanders’ backfield crew. These two can expect more competition for a roster spot to arrive soon.

Washington ranked 12th in rushing but just 28th in yards per carry last season. Robinson and Gibson each averaged under four yards per tote, but Robinson’s return from August gunshot wounds coincided with the team’s resurgence. Gibson also caught 46 passes, helping the aerial cause after McKissic was lost for the season after eight games; Robinson did not factor into the team’s passing game much as a rookie.

Bijan Robinson (Texas) and Jahmyr Gibbs (Alabama) reside as this draft class’ top two backs, though it is viewed as a deep crop. Zach Charbonnet (UCLA), Devon Achane (Texas A&M) and Senior Bowl standout Tyjae Spears (Tulane) represent the top contingent of backs expected to be in consideration for Day 2 selections.

NFC Injury Rumors: Rams, Commanders, Penning, Swift

Rams rookie safety Russ Yeast endured a scary moment on Sunday in the team’s loss to the Seahawks, according to Sarah Barshop of ESPN. The seventh-round pick earned the first start of his career in place of Nick Scott, who was placed on injured reserve last week.

In the game, Yeast suffered a pulmonary contusion and needed to be taken to the hospital via ambulance. Head coach Sean McVay told reporters that Yeast was in stable condition but would stay in the hospital overnight. Yeast was reportedly scheduled to return to Los Angeles on Monday, according to The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue.

Following the dramatic events around Bills safety Damar Hamlin, another cardiac event requiring a hospital visit was the last thing the NFL wanted to see in Week 18.

Here are a few other injury rumors from around the NFC:

  • As the Commanders‘ season came to an end, Washington decided to address some players’ injuries, according to Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post. Head coach Ron Rivera informed the media before their final regular season matchup that running back Antonio Gibson underwent surgery to repair a fracture in his foot. Additionally, defensive tackle John Ridgeway tore a pectoral muscle in the team’s season finale against the Cowboys. He’ll have the full offseason to recover.
  • Saints first round rookie tackle Trevor Penning missed much of his first NFL season with a foot injury. What was initially thought to be a “bad case of turf toe” ended up being a torn ligament in his foot, resulting in him missing the first 11 games of his debut season. Penning would eventually work his way back and earn some snaps as a backup lineman before earning the first start of his career in Week 18. Unfortunately, a rough start for the Northern Iowa product has gotten even tougher as he suffered a Lisfranc injury in the season finale against the Panthers, according to Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football. Penning faces a long recovery of approximately five to six months, but if he can come back by June, he should be able to make it back for part of the offseason training program in New Orleans.
  • Early in the season, Lions running back D’Andre Swift suffered a high ankle sprain and a separated shoulder that would dog him for the rest of the year. Despite playing through those ailments for much of the season, there doesn’t appear to be any need for surgery in the offseason, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. Swift will reportedly meet with medical professionals in the next few weeks but is under the impression that, come next season, he will be fully healthy and ready to go.

Minor NFL Transactions: 1/5/23

Today’s minor moves:

Washington Commanders

Gibson missed Week 17 with a knee injury, and the issue will also force him to miss the regular season finale. Despite an uncertain role with Brian Robinson and J.D. McKissic on the roster, Gibson still managed to put up solid numbers, finishing the campaign with 899 yards from scrimmage and five scores. Of course, this was a far cry from his first two seasons when he collected 21 touchdowns and more than 2,000 yards from scrimmage.

Patterson will be taking the open spot on the depth chart. After collecting more than 300 yards in 17 games for Washington last season, the RB has only seen time in a pair of games in 2022.

NFL Injury Rumors: Week 17 Updates

Updates to injury questions heading into the Sunday slate of games:

  • Cardinals star receiver DeAndre Hopkins will miss this Sunday’s game in Atlanta with a knee injury, according to the team’s final injury report. The injury seemed to appear from nowhere late this week and, with the Cardinals eliminated from playoff contention, it would not be a surprise to see Hopkins sit for the remainder of the season. Quarterbacks David Blough and Trace McSorley will have to rely on Marquise Brown, Greg Dortch, A.J. Green, Robbie Anderson, Pharoh Cooper, and recently promoted Andre Baccellia in the meantime.
  • The Commanders will have to face Cleveland tomorrow without running back Antonio Gibson, according to the team’s official Twitter account. With Gibson out due to an ankle sprain, Washington will likely continue to rely heavily on rookie starter Brian Robinson. Veteran running back Jonathan Williams will likely find himself in an increased role tomorrow, as will elevated practice squad back Jaret Patterson.
  • Despite returning to practice this week, 49ers star receiver Deebo Samuel is unable to play this weekend against the Raiders, according to Matt Barrows of The Athletic. Rookie quarterback Brock Purdy will have at least one more week depending on the likes of Brandon Aiyuk, Jauan Jennings, Ray-Ray McCloud, tight end George Kittle, and running back Christian McCaffrey without Samuel. Head coach Kyle Shanahan indicated that there’s “a chance” Samuel will be able to return next week.
  • Buccaneers right tackle Tristan Wirfs reportedly aggravated his ankle injury last week against the Cardinals, but according to Jenna Laine of ESPN, Wirfs intends on playing regardless. Tampa Bay is also hoping to get starting left tackle Donovan Smith back for tomorrow’s game against the Panthers. If Smith does play, it will be the first time the two have appeared in a game together since a Week 12 loss to the Browns.
  • The Texans have confirmed that two starters are no longer in question to play this weekend as right tackle Tytus Howard and rookie left guard Kenyon Green are both expected to play against the Jaguars, according to Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2. Howard had to clear concussion protocol in order to play this weekend and successfully did so. Green has missed Houston’s last two contests with an ankle injury but has reportedly improved considerably. Backup interior lineman Jimmy Morrissey was unable to clear concussion protocol and will be unable to play this Sunday.

Commanders HC Ron Rivera Refused To Trade RB Antonio Gibson

As the trade deadline came and went, several teams seeking help at running back reached out to the Commanders, according to Ralph Vacchiano of FOX Sports. Despite “significant interest” in running back Antonio Gibson, head coach Ron Rivera reportedly refused to trade him.

Gibson is currently halfway through his third season in the NFL as well as his third season leading Washington in rushing yards. Gibson came in as a rookie third-round pick out of Memphis and immediately earned the starting job in Washington over Peyton Barber and J.D. McKissic. He pieced together an impressive rookie season with 795 rushing yards, averaging 4.68 yards per carry, and 11 touchdowns. A year later, Gibson took the mantle as a bell-cow back for the Football Team, backed up by the likes of McKissic, Jaret Patterson, Jonathan Williams, and Wendell Smallwood. Given over 54% of the carries, Gibson racked up 1,037 rushing yards and 10 total touchdowns.

The Commanders then drafted another third-round pick in Alabama running back Brian Robinson. Through camp many expected Robinson to earn the starting job over the more experienced Gibson. Gunshot wounds from an attempted robbery put an end to that discussion, putting Robinson on the non-football injury list to begin his rookie season.

Gibson returned to the starting role to begin the 2022 season. Washington went back to its formula from the year before of splitting snaps between Gibson and McKissic right down the middle but still giving the majority of the carries to Gibson. Robinson made his swift return to the field in Week 5 in a limited role before taking snaps as the lead back the following two weeks.

The entire Commanders’ rushing attack was extremely quiet in a Week 8 win over the Colts last week that saw quarterback Taylor Heinicke and wide receiver Curtis Samuel tie for the team-lead in rushing yards with 29. While the game didn’t appear to be much of a success for Washington’s running backs, it did provide a bit of clarity on how the room shakes out.

Robinson is clearly the power back. He seems to be the first one to have his number called, as well, but he will absolutely be the one used in short-yardage and goal-line situations as well as situations when the Commanders have a lead to protect. Gibson is the primary backup. Not only will he be the first man off the bench when Robinson needs a breather, but he will also be the preferred option on passing plays as an option out of the backfield. McKissic slots in as the third-stringer and a secondary pass catching option with Williams behind him.

Regardless, the news about Rivera’s reaction to calls about Gibson says one of two things: either Rivera is passionate about the role Gibson holds in the Commanders’ future or Rivera still has some question marks about Robinson’s abilities. For now, Gibson remains a Commander, with one year after this season remaining on his contract. Look for whether or not Washington rewards Gibson with an extension this offseason. If so, they clearly have eyes towards his future. If not, they may be planning to wait and see how Robinson develops.