New England Patriots Free Agent Profile: Stevan Ridley


All of the free agent focus for the New England Patriots is currently being focused on Devin McCourty and Darrelle Revis (rightfully so), but I wanted to take a step back and look at a few other guys that may be flying under the radar right now. We start with running back Stevan Ridley.

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Honestly, it must suck to be Ridley as of this moment. I mean, aside from the fact that he is position to make millions of dollars, and plays football at the highest possible level…and he’s a Super Bowl champion.

Okay, maybe it doesn’t suck to be him right now, but he really has fallen off the map in New England. He has gone from the destined child at running back to the forgotten man in a crowded backfield. After LeGarrette Blount‘s re-emergence from Pittsburgh, Jonas Gray‘s ridiculous showing in Indy, and then Shane Vereen‘s mammoth performance in the Super Bowl, nobody seems to be talking about Ridley, a guy that is arguably the most talented one of all.

If we’re basing this free agent talk on pure talent, the Pats should focus on re-signing Ridley. As a pure running back, he has the potential to become one of the best in the league over the next couple of years. He has it all: power, speed, agility, good vision, and contrary to popular belief, his fumbling problem is vastly overstated.

Consider this: Ridley has 672 total touches of the football over his career, and has only fumbled nine times. That’s averaging a fumble every 76.4 touches, which is better than most backs in this league. Has the kid fumbled at inopportune times? Yes. But as a complete product, Ridley is a very good running back.

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  • Of course asking if he is a good player and asking if he will be back in New England are two very different questions. The Patriots have Blount, Gray, Bolden, James White, Tyler Gaffney, and Brandon Bolden all under contract for next season, making both Ridley and Shane Vereen expendable. There is a chance Ridley could come back on a “prove-it” type of deal, as he is coming off a bad knee injury, but a long-term extension is not likely.

    My gut feeling is the Patriots will offer him a one-deal, but another team in desperate need of a running back might swoop in with a bigger offer and Ridley will have no choice but to accept it. I hope finds a way to come back to New England, but with the Pats, you have to come to the realization that everyone can leave at any time.

    If he does leave, I wish him all the best. I’ve been a big supporter of him from the beginning, and hope he has a long and successful NFL career.