It’s okay for Patriots fans to be ‘super excited’ about signing Elliott

It’s okay for Patriots fans to be ‘super excited’ about signing Elliott originally appeared on nbc sports boston

We know: Ezekiel Elliott is not what he used to be.

He New England Patriots likely won’t get first-team All-Pro who led the NFL in rushing yards twice in its first three seasons. Elliott hasn’t made a Pro Bowl since 2019 and averaged a career-low 3.8 yards per carry last season.

So should Patriots fans In fact get excited about new england sign the 28-year-old to a one-year deal worth up to $6 million in free agency? Our Tom E. Curran says… yes.

Join NBC Sports Boston’s Early edition of Arbella to vote on how you feel about the addition of Elliott — “Super excited,” “Better than nothing” or “It’s fried” — Curran chose the more optimistic option.

“I’m probably closer to ‘super excited’ than anything else,” Curran said. “Because it’s heartbreaking to see an offense at the threshold of the regular season so bereft of position and intent, after a really grueling year for a low-paid player (ramondre stevenson), to do virtually the same thing again”.

Stevenson racked up 279 total touches in 2022 (210 rushing attempts and 69 receptions), by far the most on the Patriots and tied for 10th in the NFL. with backups Ty Montgomery and Pierre Strong, both dealing with injuries and as a second-year running back kevin harris looking ineffective in training camp, Stevenson would have had to take on another heavy workload in 2023.

Elliott should help ease the load on Stevenson, and while we shouldn’t expect 1,000 yards from the former Cowboys star, Curran notes that the seven-year veteran is still a very solid NFL running back who had 876 yards and 12 touchdowns in the field for Dallas last season.

“I’m excited because I think Zeke Elliott has a lot more left in the tank than people think. People are very determined to say what he can’t do. We are clear: but what can He does? I think he can do a lot for them, so I’m a lot closer to being super excited than I am, you know, better than nothing.”

Elliott should especially help the Patriots in the red zone, where they ranked last in the NFL in touchdown percentage last season, and in pass protection, where he’s an underrated blocker in the backfield. He excels in close range situations and could also be a weapon in the possession time battle.

The Patriots may have paid a bit more for Elliott if he’s going to serve as Stevenson’s backup. But they had the money to spend and the need was there, which is why it’s easy to accept him.

To hear more from Curran, NBC Sports Boston’s Phil Perry, host Trenni Casey and Boston Sports Journal’s Greg Bedard on Elliott, check out their full discussion below.

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