6 important Patriots entering their last season in New England

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Rhamondre Stevenson

Playing running back in the NFL is not easy, not just because of the job at hand but also because general managers are reluctant to sign players to extensions after their rookie contracts. They tend not to value the position and don't want to play players for what they're worth, which has become a hot and controversial topic in recent years.

That could be an issue for Rhamondre Stevenson, who is set to hit free agency for the first time in his career next offseason. He will be one of the headliners of a class otherwise led by Nick Chubb, James Conner, and Aaron Jones, all of whom will also be looking for their paydays.

That could work in Stevenson's favor, on top of Jerod Mayo and Eliot Wolf's desire to draft and develop talent for the team moving forward. Since he is a homegrown talent, hopefully, that will be enough for the new regime to consider offering a contract extension.

Stevenson has done more than enough to earn a longer stay in Foxboro and is expected to prove that further this upcoming season.

Although his NFL career didn't start smoothly, he quickly earned Bill Belichick's trust and seemingly stole the starting role from Damien Harris. It was a done deal once he trained and integrated more of the passing game into his repertoire. Stevenson became the go-to guy in the backfield and hasn't looked back since.

He's become a valuable asset on the offense and will continue to be that when Drake Maye takes over under center. That's just one of the reasons it would be a mistake for the team to let Stevenson walk in free agency, and it would be best if they avoided that.