One of the New England Patriots first moves of the year was re-signing Runningback Rex Burkhead.
There seems to be a mass exodus happening in New England right now. Malcolm Butler? Gone. Danny Amendola? Gone. Nate Solder? Gone. Dion Lewis? You guessed it, gone. New England Patriots fans finally got their first dose of good news as the Pats re-signed Rex Burkhead.
Burkhead played in only 10 regular season games due to a rib injury this year. While healthy, Burkhead had 264 yards and 5 touchdowns on 64 carries, as well as 30 catches for 254 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns in the air.
His season in New England was better than his entire career in Cincinnati. In his limited time with the Patriots he already has more touchdowns than his 42 games played with the Bengals.
It seems that Burkhead has found a home in New England.
Burkhead is a dual threat. He is great catching the ball out of the backfield or even lining up out wide. When he is running the ball Burkhead is best running outside the tackles. Burkhead seems to have an innate ability to know exactly when to cut upfield. Once he gets by you, it is really tough to take him down.
What can we decipher from this move?
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First off the Patriots do realize that free agency has started. Every time you logged into Twitter it seemed like another Patriot had left. Also, I think that Burkhead’s contract shows that he will have a bigger role next season. Once Dion Lewis got going he was the primary back, and James White seems to dominate in the playoffs so he got lots of looks in obvious passing situations.
Burkhead landed in Bill Belichick’s good graces with his ability to play special teams. I think Belichick may like special teams more than Linda Holliday. That being said I think Burkhead will have a lot more opportunities in 2018. The Patriots signed Burkhead to a three-year deal. You don’t sign someone for that long to just use him in passing situations. I expect Burkhead to get more shots out of the backfield and maybe even take some snaps away from Mike Gillislee.
This may be the first move for the New England Patriots this offseason, but it certainly won’t be the last.