It could look like historical historical past now, given all that has modified within the NFL and the world since 2017, however that was the yr that Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 783 yards and 7 touchdowns, previous to accepting a suspension from the NFL for violating the league’s private conduct coverage, in relation to home violence allegations made by his former girlfriend, Tiffany Thompson. A former first-round choose for the Dallas Cowboys out of Ohio State, who’d tallied a league-best 1,631 speeding yards en path to a First Staff All-Professional choice as a rookie in 2016, Elliott misplaced six video games to suspension throughout his sophomore marketing campaign, however was nonetheless capable of get America’s Staff to present him a six-year extension in the summertime of 2019. That pact assured him $50 million, and made him the NFL’s top-paid operating again.
Robustly compensated by the Cowboys, regardless of the prior home violence allegations, Elliott was launched by the group this previous March after tallying a career-low 876 speeding yards in 2022. On Monday, the 28-year-old, who nonetheless scored 12 touchdowns and remained a prime short-yardage again, whereas additionally excelling in cross safety, swallowed his delight and simply took a one-year cope with the Patriots that may be value as much as $6 million with incentives, in accordance with ESPN.
The Patriots, who’re pretty skinny at operating again behind 2022 lead rusher Rhamondre Stevenson, usually would have averted a participant with a checkered historical past like Elliott (or at the least pretended they might have). However determined occasions name for determined measures and issues are beginning to really feel pretty Distress-esque in Tom Brady-less New England. The Patriots, after many years of dominance, are projected to complete final within the AFC East behind the Buffalo Payments, Miami Dolphins and New York Jets.
The addition of Elliott, who has by no means been pretty much as good as he was as a rookie within the years since, and should have little or no left within the tank, shouldn’t do a lot to influence that calculus, however it does present how keen the Patriots are to beat the chances. New England’s choice to maintain cornerback Jack Jones within the midst of very severe gun expenses, regardless of the shadow of Aaron Hernandez persevering with to hold over the franchise, can also be emblematic of that want.
The Patriots ignoring Elliott’s previous and signing him is attention-grabbing as a result of New England was additionally linked to former Viking Dalvin Prepare dinner, who inked a one-year cope with the New York Jets simply hours after his peer signed with Invoice Belichick and Co. Prepare dinner, who performed in Minnesota for six seasons previous to hitting free company, allegedly supplied $1 million to a former girlfriend to get him cleared of home violence associated to a 2021 lawsuit, in accordance with a doc filed in Dakota County District Courtroom that was obtained by The Minnesota Star-Tribune.
Like Elliot, Prepare dinner took a one-year deal, however his contract may very well be value as much as $8.6 million. Like Elliot, Prepare dinner additionally had a down 2022 season along with his per-carry common at a career-low 4.4 yards. Not like Elliot, Prepare dinner has a $7 million base wage with the Jets, greater than the previous Cowboy will get from the Patriots even when he hits all of his incentives.
Within the coming days, there could also be leaks that character considerations and Prepare dinner’s ongoing authorized state of affairs have been the rationale why the Patriots signed the previous Cowboy as an alternative of the ex-Viking, however the actuality is the choice got here all the way down to cash. If the Patriots actually had considerations about Prepare dinner’s previous, they wouldn’t have signed Elliot to be their No. 2 operating again of the longer term. Elliot was cheaper, not much less polarizing, and maybe that’s what New England has actually cared about all alongside regardless of the many years of (disproven) discuss “the Patriot means.”
Or, perhaps Prepare dinner is only a fan of HBO’s Laborious Knocks. If the Patriots miss the playoffs, they could be on it subsequent yr.
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