Ezekiel Elliott reportedly was the latest to meet with the Patriots on Saturday.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported Sunday on “SportsCenter” that Elliott’s meeting in Foxboro was a productive one, but there’s no contract agreement at this time.
“I talked to somebody with the team and they said the meeting went very well,” Fowler said. “He’s in good shape. They spent the day with him. He had dinner with some Patriots players. It’s certainly a good option. I’m told there is some love for Zeke Elliott in the Patriots building.
“But it comes down to the contract, as these things usually do. The reason why Zeke hasn’t signed is he wants a respectable contract based on all that he’s accomplished in the league and what he feels he can still produce. That’s been the holdup with a lot of these free agent running backs — Kareem Hunt, Leonard Fournette and of course Dalvin Cook, who’s visiting with the Jets on (Sunday). The Patriots do plan on signing a running back. That’s been pretty clear. They’ve had several high-profile guys in the building. They’ve talked with Dalvin Cook’s people about having him visit.”
Elliott ran for 876 yards (3.8 per carry) and 12 touchdowns in 15 games for the Dallas Cowboys last season. It was the least amount of rushing yards he had in a single season with the Cowboys since they drafted him in 2016. Elliott also tallied 17 receptions for 92 yards last season.
Elliott was, at times, an elite running back for Dallas. He was a first-team All-Pro in 2016, a second-team All-Pro in 2018 and a Pro Bowler in 2016, 2018 and 2019. But he’s also 28 years old with a lot of wear and tear on his body.
The Patriots need another experienced running back on their roster. Rhamondre Stevenson is the starter and enjoyed a breakout campaign in 2022, but the next two players on the depth chart are second-year running backs Pierre Strong Jr. and Kevin Harris, who combined for just 20 rushing attempts as rookies last season. Ty Montgomery also is a bit banged up.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was asked Sunday about Elliott’s visit, and he did not go into any details. “I’ll pass on the guys who aren’t on our team,” he said.