One of the more exciting free-agent signings this year was when Ezekiel Elliott joined the Patriots in late summer. Even though some believed his best was in the past hence why the Cowboys were willing to release him, he's become a solid piece on the offense in a short period of time.
Because Rhamondre Stevenson was the projected RB1 after his outstanding sophomore season in 2022, Elliott was brought in as an improved depth piece, making a dynamic 1-2 punch for the offensive backfield. That was the plan preparing for the season, anyway, but inconsistency from the offensive line has hindered much of the success of both running backs through nine games this season.
Despite it all, Elliott has recorded 73 carries for 277 yards and two touchdowns, a very slowed-down year for the typically borderline overused player. He has proven he still possesses the incredible talent he's displayed throughout his career, and when the protection is there, the running back that we got accustomed to during his years with Dallas is still in there.
But that's why we may get just one season from Elliott in New England.
It all depends on what he's aiming to accomplish during his time in the NFL. He could wind up anywhere if it's just to play football or earn a big paycheck. However, if he's chasing a Super Bowl ring, then the Patriots are not the team for him.
Given how much of a pillar Stevenson has become for the team in just three seasons, it would be great to see Bill Belichick try to retain Elliott for more than just this year. With improvements to the offensive line, there's no reason to believe they couldn't be the best running-back duo in the league. But the effort to make his job a bit easier will need to be seen by Belichick, or we can all be prepared to say goodbye to Elliott before the season even ends.