We're just about a month away from most, if not all, teams reporting to training camp.
Most free agents have found homes for the upcoming season. However, former Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is yet to find a new home.
Could New England be Elliott's new home?
One thing about the Patriots is that they will get the best out of their running backs.
The running back position has been well-coached for years and shows on the field. You could say that anyone who lines up in the backfield is the heart and soul of the New England offense and, at times, carries the team down the field.
Currently, the Patriots have five running backs on the roster.
Rhamondre Stevenson leads the way, with Ty Montgomery, Pierre Strong Jr., Kevin Harris, and J.J. Taylor rounding out the five running backs on the roster.
Surely, not all five will be kept, but could it hurt to bring in a sixth running back in Ezekiel Elliott?
Why Ezekiel Elliott is a good fit
The Patriots love to run screens with their running backs. If there's a pass-catching back and they're on New England nine times out of ten, they will have a successful career in New England.
During his time in Dallas, Elliott caught 305 passes for 2,336 receiving yards, with 12 of those receptions resulting in touchdowns.
On top of that, he has been an excellent rusher for the Dallas offense.
Yes, last season, he failed to rush for 1,000 yards for the third time in his career. But, one of those seasons he failed to reach 1,000 rushing yards was an injury-riddled season.
Other than Dak Prescott, Elliott has been a mainstay for the Cowboys.
As for his rushing stats, Elliott has 1,881 rushing attempts for 8,262 rushing yards and 68 rushing touchdowns.
Last year alone, he had 12 rushing touchdowns. Elliott finds the endzone one way or another.
Yes, Elliott has ways to be a good fit in New England.
He's got a good set of hands and finds ways to score which is exactly how any running back in New England succeeds.
If he were to join the roster, he would have to beat out the likes of J.J. Taylor and Kevin Harris at minimum, with his main competition being Ty Montgomery since the Patriots cut James Robinson recently.
Why Ezekiel Elliott is a bad fit
Why is Elliott a bad fit?
For starters, joining the Patriots is a tall task. They have one of the hardest, if not the hardest, playbooks in the league.
Since both OTA's and minicamp have passed, Elliott has little time to learn the playbook before training camp starts.
On top of that, it appears the Patriots are happy to have Pierre Strong Jr. and Ty Montgomery be the backups for Rhamondre Stevenson.
Montgomery is an excellent pass-catching back and would have the advantage over Elliott of being with the team longer.
Also, Elliott has fumbled 22 times in his career, losing 11. Bill Belichick doesn't take kindly to anyone who fumbles.
Just ask Damien Harris, who fumbled away a week one victory against the Miami Dolphins in 2021.
Lastly, the offensive line.
Yes, the Patriots have somewhat addressed the offensive line this offseason. But, without a solid offensive line, Elliott has struggled.
The Patriots do not have the best offensive line. If the offensive line struggles at any point this season, Elliott will also struggle, and it will show.
Yes or no to Elliott
Sure, why not.
The Patriots should take a chance on Ezekiel Elliott. After all, he is 27 years old and still has a few more good years left.
If the Patriots don't sign Deandre Hopkins, Ezekiel Elliott will be worth giving some money to. Maybe a little more than the veteran minimum on a one-year "prove-it" deal.