In the world of NFL free agency, it's not uncommon for former standout players to get a second or even third chance. Bill Belichick, known for his propensity to give such opportunities, recently hosted Ezekiel Elliott, a two-time league rushing champion and former Dallas Cowboys running back. However, Elliott left without a deal, leaving fans and analysts speculating about the future.
Elliott's Career Trajectory
Elliott, who recently turned 28, was released by the Cowboys on March 15. His career has been marked by impressive feats, including leading the league in rushing as a rookie and helping the Cowboys secure a 13-3 record. He won his second rushing title two years later, propelling Dallas to the NFC East title. Despite a dip in performance over the last three seasons, Elliott still managed to post respectable numbers, including 876 rushing yards and 12 touchdown runs in 2022.
The Patriots' Running Back Situation
The Patriots are currently in need of depth in their running back position. With Damien Harris signing with the Bills and Ty Montgomery injured, the team is actively exploring options. They have already worked out Leonard Fournette and are trying to arrange a visit with Dalvin Cook, the reigning league rushing champion. Elliott's visit, although it didn't result in a deal, indicates that the Patriots are leaving no stone unturned in their quest to bolster their roster.
Belichick's History of Signing Former Stars
If signed, Elliott would join a long list of former stars who found a new home with the Patriots later in their careers. This list includes notable names like Corey Dillon, Randy Moss, Rodney Harrison, Junior Seau, Darrelle Revis, Antonio Brown, and Josh Gordon. While Elliott's visit ended without a deal, it's clear that the Patriots are open to giving him a shot, keeping in line with Belichick's history of signing former stars.
While Elliott's visit to the Patriots ended without an immediate deal, the door remains open for future negotiations. As the free agency carousel continues to spin, only time will tell where this two-time league rushing champion will land next.