2. Ezekiel Elliott
New England brought in Ezekiel Elliott over the offseason to complement Rhamondre Stevenson after Damien Harris joined the rival Buffalo Bills. Even though the ex-Dallas Cowboy is no longer in his prime, the Patriots still had hopes that he could contribute on power downs and in the red zone.
Elliott has had mixed results this year. On one hand, his yards per carry (3.7) have declined for the second straight season and he's only rushed for more than 34 yards once. On the other, he's shown some life with touchdown runs in each of his last two outings, potentially signaling a resurgence.
If the we were competing for a playoff spot, I'd be on board with keeping Elliott in the backfield. But do we really need him?
Like Bourne, Elliott is due to hit free agency in 2024 and I can't see him re-signing with New England. The 28-year-old only has so many years left in the tank and likely wants to chase a championship, which won't be a realistic goal if the Patriots don't plan on being competitive.
With how easily RB-related injuries can pile up, a contender might find Elliott attractive as an insurance policy. He's no longer a three-down rusher, but he's still fine as a backup or even as a goal-line threat.
Even if a deal only nets New England a seventh-rounder, it's still better than nothing.