New England Patriots’ running back Stevan Ridley is one of the best talents in the league. He has the perfect combination of speed, power, agility, and vision, which is exactly what you want in a feature back in the NFL.
However we always seem to forget about the positive things he brings to the table because of his tendency to turn the football over. He has fumbled the ball seven times in the last two years, something is just not acceptable. But if he manages clean this up, I am confident that he can become one of the top five running backs in the league.
Ridley is heading into a contract year, but according to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald, the Patriots have not spoken with Ridley about an extension. He says we should not expect anything to happen during the season.
At this point, Ridley and the Patriots haven’t discussed the possibility of an extension, according to a source. Don’t expect anything to happen until after the season, if it does happen at all.
After the Patriots finished up practice yesterday, Ridley talked about trying to put his contract situation in the rear-view mirror, and focus on the present: (Again from Jeff Howe)
“I have to be honest about it. It’s there, but it’s not my first concern. My first concern is going out there and being the best player for this team. I think if I go out there and have a productive year and do what I need to do, the contract will take care of itself. I’m not really going to put too much thought into it because I think as you guys know, if I start thinking about that, I could easily be a distraction. I can’t really worry with that. I’m going to have some good days, going to have some bad days but I’m going to keep working, keep my head in the dirt and grinding it out.”
I have always been a big supporter of Ridley, and these comments only strengthen my belief in him. Some players would be worried about getting an extension on their contract, specifically their rookie contract, but it doesn’t appear that Ridley is too worried about it. He knows the only way to make himself some money is to play well, and earn it on the field.
I also like how he is honest about it, and acknowledges it weighs on his mind. A lot of players wouldn’t do that. But again, it sounds like he isn’t going to get distracted by it in 2014, and focus primarily on what he can do on the football field. And that bodes well for the Patriots running game.