New England Patriots Free Agency: What’s Next?

Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images) /
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RB DeMarco Murray, RB Jeremy Hill, RB Alfred Morris, and RB Adrian Peterson

Free Agency
BALTIMORE, MD – DECEMBER 23: Running Back Danny Woodhead (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

The Patriots allowed running back Dion Lewis leave in free agency to the Tennessee Titans. They were able to bring back Rex Burkhead on a multi-year deal to address the position. They still have receiving back James White and Mike Gillislee at the position. They may look for additional depth at the position as Gillislee can be cut with no dead money at any time.

The running back market is loaded with veterans. Jamaal Charles, Shane Vereen, Darren Sproles, Orleans Darkwa and more are available and will likely sign for little guaranteed money. I picked the six remaining backs to look at who are likely on the New England radar or a potential fit in the system:

Murray turned 30-years old last season and was terrible in Tennessee. He can still contribute as a receiver and that makes him more desirable to teams. He has visited Detroit and Seattle already, but will have to take a team-friendly deal wherever he ends up.

Hill is visiting Foxboro on Friday and he fits the profile as a big bruising back. At 235-pounds, he can contribute tough yards on third-and-short and at the goal line. However, he has stone hands and does not contribute in the passing game.

Morris flashed last season in Dallas with Ezekiel Elliott suspended. He averaged almost five yards per rush for the season and despite closing in on age 30, he still has some life in his legs. He is the savvy veteran who has been under-utilized the past few seasons who the Patriots often target.

Finally, Adrian Peterson is always on every team’s free agency list. Peterson probably has the ability still to be a 1,000 yard rusher, but he has hurt his chances to get a starting job by bristling at a shared backfield in New Orleans last season. Arizona gave him a shot and he failed. If he put his ego aside, he could be a solid contributor. However, that seems unlikely.

NOTE: Hill has reportedly signed with the Patriots