Dion Lewis, RB, age 26
The Patriots signed Dion Lewis to a future contract in December of 2014. Injuries had kept him off the field in 2013, however, an impressive offseason in 2015 earned him a spot on the Patriots’ roster.
Lewis turned heads early on in 2015. In the first six weeks of the season, Lewis collected 569 all-purpose yards, two rushing touchdowns, and two receiving touchdowns. In Week 7, Lewis tore his ACL and was placed on season-ending injured reserve.
In 2016, Lewis began the season on the PUP list and was activated ahead of Week 10. Over the remainder of the season, he tallied 283 rushing yards, 94 receiving yards, and no touchdowns. Lewis’ biggest game of the season came in the divisional round of the playoffs against the Houston Texans. In the Patriots 34-16 routing of the Texans, he had a rushing touchdown, receiving touchdown, and kick return touchdown.
The biggest knock against Lewis’ game is his inability to stay healthy. Injuries have continued to be a problem since he entered the pros in 2011. Lewis has only played fourteen regular season games in two years with New England.
Rather than re-signing Lewis after 2017, the Patriots may choose to spend their money extending running back Rex Burkhead. Like Lewis, Burkhead can operate as both a running back and receiver out of the backfield.