New England Patriots: Grading recent free agent signings
Re-Signed Running Back, Rex Burkhead
The Patriots re-signing of Rex Burkhead to a multi-year deal softened the blow of Lewis departing for Tennessee. His re-signing is making New England reminiscent of Cincinnati’s backfield, as Hill was one of the players Burkhead had to compete with for playing time earlier in his career. Now, the two will battle it out in New England for playing time.
Hill and Burkhead have different skill sets, but the Patriots backfield is now crowded. Mike Gillislee is still around, and James White has the passing down work locked down. Burkhead showed that he is can be productive when healthy, but how often will he be given that chance to produce?
However, having multiple options is important. Injuries crushed Hill and Burkhead last season. Having extra bodies at their disposal isn’t necessarily a bad thing with the injury concerns the players have.
On the field, Burkhead is a jack of all trades. He can produce carrying the ball and can be used as a weapon catching the ball out of the backfield. He brings versatility to the Patriots offense, which is something they thrive on.
While this move complicates things in the Patriots backfield, it is a good insurance move. This could mean that Gillislee’s spot on the roster is not as safe as originally thought.