There was a lot of hype around the Patriots finally signing one of the top remaining free agents this year when Ezekiel Elliott had a long visit with the team a few weeks ago. The meeting reportedly went so well that Mac Jones was seen out to dinner with the running back later that evening.
Although everything seemed to mean a contract offer would be revealed soon, not much has been heard since Elliott left Foxboro until now.
Former Patriots executive Michael Lombardi recently appeared on an episode of "The Pat McAfee Show" and was asked about where Elliott and fellow free agent running back Dalvin Cook would be playing for the 2023 season.
Shockingly, he revealed that he believes both players know where they will sign and will sign with those teams later in the month but are waiting until training camp is over because they want to preserve their health longer before the regular season begins.
"I think Dalvin and Zeke are gonna sign with two weeks to go (before the season starts). I think both know where they're gonna go. I think both don't want to play yet until camp gets over."
Now, this is just speculation at this point since not a peep has been heard about Elliott from him or the Patriots since the meeting took place. However, the idea of this being true becomes a bit more interesting when you consider that New England is the only team Elliott has visited since becoming a free agent earlier this year.
This certainly improves the chances he will sign with the Patriots, right?
Yes, to an extent. But there is still a possibility that he will return to Dallas, at least according to some in the media. There have been conflicting reports about the Cowboys' interest in bringing Elliott back to the team before the season begins, so if there is a chance it happens, Lombardi's theory could also be true for them.
But then there are questions regarding the likeliness that Bill Belichick would agree to sign a player but hold off on actually making it happen until that player decides he wants to finally put in the work. Considering the Patriots are a team with the mantra "do your job," the chances of Belichick allowing this to happen are slim to none.
With less than four weeks until the 2023 season begins, it would be wise for Elliott (and Cook) to sign with their new teams as soon as possible because learning a new playbook and adapting to a new environment is not easy in football, no matter how long you've been in the NFL.