Patriots sign perfect free agent to pair with Rhamondre Stevenson

Washington Commanders v New York Jets
Washington Commanders v New York Jets / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

It may not have been the move fans have been waiting for, but the Patriots finally made their first signing of free agency three hours after the legal tampering window opened, and it was a good one.

After spending the first four years of his career with the Washington Commanders, Ian Rapoport announced running back Antonio Gibson was signing with New England.

The 25-year-old has had a roller coaster of a start in the NFL, mainly due to the team he was on and the chaotic last few years they've dealt with on and off the field. However, he's a proven third-down back, which the Patriots have been missing since James White retired, and he will instantly fill that role.

It allows Rhamondre Stevenson to remain the RB1 and take on more responsibility, as he wished, and adds another pass-catching back into the fold.

Gibson is a former wide receiver, who played the position during his two years at East Central Community College and added running back to his resume when he transferred to Memphis. That unique combination will help elevate the offense and stabilize the backfield, which didn't seem too promising beyond Stevenson for the 2024 season.

He's also experienced on special teams, and the Patriots are known for loving that. Given that the unit has been particularly weak over the last few seasons, having the ability to utilize Gibson there is also significant.

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