Five months have passed since the Dallas Cowboys officially released Ezekiel Elliott near the start of NFL free agency. The veteran running back signed a massive, six-year contract in 2019 but, since then, Elliott’s production has dwindled and it was not a surprise when Dallas elected to move on in a decision that saved the franchise money. Still, Elliott was highly productive in a Dallas uniform, rushing for 8,262 yards and 68 touchdowns across seven seasons, and rumblings have percolated that the now 28-year-old could land elsewhere on the eve of the 2023 season.
On Monday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported that Elliott will indeed find a new landing spot in the form of a one-year deal with the New England Patriots worth up to $6 million.
Shortly after, Adam Schefter of ESPN outlined the compensation structure for Elliott’s contract, noting a $3 million base salary.
Compensation update: Zeke Elliott’s one-year deal with the Patriots includes a $3 million base salary, a $1 million signing bonus and can be worth up to $6 million with incentives.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 14, 2023
Elliott, who was the No. 4 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, will join forces with Rhamondre Stevenson in New England’s backfield. It will be interesting to see how the two backs are deployed, as Stevenson generated well over 1,400 yards from scrimmage during the 2022 season. At this point, Elliott’s primary value seems to come in pass protection and short-yardage situations, while Stevenson is far more explosive. New England does add intriguing depth with this move, though, and it provides insurance that wasn’t necessarily present behind Stevenson prior to Elliott’s arrival.