3 Last-Minute Signings Patriots Need to Make Before First Preseason Game

Dec 29, 2022; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) celebrates after a win against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 29, 2022; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) celebrates after a win against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /
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2. Darrell Henderson Jr.

If the Patriots are looking for more of a true backup for Stevenson rather than an RB1.5, Henderson could be their guy.

We haven’t heard much since Henderson worked out for the Pats in July, which suggests they probably aren’t too interested. But now that a few more weeks have passed, Henderson’s price should be a bit lower now and could be worth taking a chance on.

Compared to available workhorses like Cook, Elliott and Leonard Fournette, Henderson doesn’t have nearly as much mileage on his legs. The 25-year-old has rushed for 1,742 yards and 13 touchdowns on 396 carries over his first 50 NFL games, proving to be an important cog in Sean McVay Rams offenses at times.

Henderson has also been solid on passing plays, averaging 7.2 yards per catch for his career so far. That gives the offense some added versatility and provides another safety valve for Mac Jones.

The main issue for Henderson is that he’s had trouble staying healthy in his career, missing 5 games in 2021 and 7 games last year. He also looked less explosive last year with only 4.0 yards per carry, but perhaps he’ll get some of that back after a full offseason to recover.

He might not be the biggest name left on the free-agent market, but Henderson could still make sense for New England.