With the emergence of Rhamondre Stevenson, running back hasn’t been looked at as an area of need for the New England Patriots this offseason, especially with the signing of James Robison and two second year running backs in Kevin Harris and Pierre Strong Jr. ready to take the next step.
However, with the team’s decision to cut Robinson before the ink of his contract dried now has the team looking for depth behind Stevenson. A veteran running back out there of interest is one Leonard Fournette.
Oh, we’ve heard this story before over the last couple of seasons, but the team’s recent interest in Fournette and the fact that he did visit Foxborough last offseason could pave the way for the two sides finally coming together.
Patriots would be the perfect situation for Leonard Fournette
Obviously, there are some other options still on the free agent market like Dalvin Cook, Kareem Hunt and Ezekiel Elliot, but financially, it is Fournette who may make the most sense as Sportrac has his current worth as just over $2 million a year, which is basically the contract the team game Robinson, which was actually a two-year deal worth $4 million.
Still just 27 years old, Fournette fits the mold as a power runner and a player who could catch the ball out of the backfield. Maybe even an upgrade over Damien Harris who the team decided not to bring back in free agency.
In playing the last few seasons behind Tom Brady, Fournette would not only bring that experience to the Patriots, but he also brings some Super Bowl experience and a winning attitude to the team. He also is the perfect kind of back to spell Stevenson.
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In 222, Fournette rushed for 668 yards on 189 attempts with 73 receptions for 523 yards. It is the latter that makes him a good fit in New England as obviously the Patriots are an offense that likes to utilize running backs in the passing game. With Bill O’Brien back as the offensive coordinator, Fournette would also have some familiarity with the playbook as he did play with Brady the last few seasons.
With the team still waiting on possibly signing DeAndre Hopkins, potentially adding Fournette as well would be a boost to an offense that is already taking shape around Mac Jones. As stated previously, the New England Patriots interest in Fournette has been there before, so it would not be surprising if they kicked the tires again.
A dual threat option out of the backfield, the O’Brien led offense would be just that much more versatile with a Stevenson, Fournette combination coming out of the backfield. Unless a player like Strong Jr. really emerges, if the Patriots want the veteran running back, there should be nothing in the way of making it happen this time around.