6 Patriots on the Chopping Block After Alex Van Pelt Hiring

With Alex Van Pelt now in charge of the offense, these 6 New England Patriots are on the chopping block

New England Patriots
New England Patriots / Cooper Neill/GettyImages
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3. Ezekiel Elliott, Running Back

Once considered among the top running backs in the game, Ezekiel Elliott spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Dallas Cowboys. The former Ohio State star led the league in rushing as a rookie in 2016 with 1,631 yards. He did so again in 2018 when he went for 1,434 yards for Big D.

The Cowboys continued to give Zeke the ball and throughout his tenure, he had 2,186 touches which resulted in 10,598 yards and 80 touchdowns. It also led to his body being worn down as a knee injury slowed him during the 2022 campaign.

He was released following that season and wound up landing with the Patriots. In a complementary role to Rhamondre Stevenson, Elliott surpassed expectations with 642 yards on the ground and 313 as a receiver. Still, his yards per attempt continued to decline as he was good for just 3.5 yards per rush.

Elliott is again scheduled for free agency and had the Patriots run it back with their previous staff, he might have been able to stick around. With Alex Van Pelt in charge, that's not going to be as likely. Van Pelt will surely continue to run with Stevenson but he and the Browns only turned to veteran Kareem Hunt in 2023 when they lost their star for the season. Barring an injury, Elliott and the Pats don't seem to be in the cards with this move.