We provide an update on the most recent New England Patriots rumors involving running back Dion Lewis.
Plenty of New England Patriots rumors thus far this offseason has revolved around running back Dion Lewis. Lewis is arguably the biggest free agent that the Patriots have this season along with Nate Solder.
There has been plenty of news surrounding Lewis. There have been mixed signals about his future with the Patriots. The early indication was that Lewis would be playing elsewhere next season. The Patriots don’t usually spend big at running back, and Lewis could have a market that is more lucrative than the Patriots are comfortable going with.
Lewis, himself, is unsure about his future. The most recent update would go along with that, as it sounds like Lewis will be a hot commodity once free agency begins.
According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, Lewis has plenty of interest surrounding him. Florio reports that there could be as many as six or seven teams in on Lewis. He named the New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers, Indianapolis Colts, Oakland Raiders and Houston Texans as potentially interested teams.
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It does not sound like it will be easy for the Patriots to retain Lewis. After Le’Veon Bell, Lewis is arguably the best running back available in free agency. In addition to that, Lewis is entering free agency off the best season in his career.
Lewis was given a bigger role in the Patriots backfield last season because of injuries and made the most of it. During the preseason, there were questions about whether or not he would make the regular season roster. Eight months later, Lewis is looking to cash in on a career season.
Lewis ran the ball 180 times for 896 yards, averaging 5.0 yards per carry. He had seven rushes of 20+ yards and six touchdowns. In addition to the great work on the ground, Lewis also gets the job done as a receiver. He caught 32 passes last season for 214 yards with three touchdowns.
Those are excellent stats, as Lewis has shown that he can handle all different types of work. He offers versatility and will come at a much cheaper price than someone such as Bell.
Lewis has some shortcomings, such as his durability. He played in 15 games his rookie season in 2011 and all 16 games this past season, but in the seasons in between, he didn’t play more than nine.
That is one mark against Lewis, but the positives far outweigh the negatives. If the Patriots want to retain him, they may need to pay a little more than they are used to doing for running backs. Otherwise, Lewis could be in another jersey next season.