Burkhead Returns to Patriots on Three-Year Deal

Dec 3, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New England Patriots running back Rex Burkhead (34) runs the ball wide during the fourth quarter against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
(Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports)

The New England Patriots reportedly have agreed to a multi-year contract with free-agent running back Rex Burkhead.

While initially reported by Jim McBride of the Boston Globe, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network later confirmed additional details of the deal. Burkhead’s contract is a three-year deal that is “heavy on guaranteed money.”  A source within the organization has confirmed that Burkhead and the Pats agreed to the deal before he hit free agency.

Burkhead, who turns 28 in July, finished with 518 total yards and eight touchdowns in 2017, his first year with the Patriots. He was used both as a pass catcher and goal-line back but was limited to 10 games because of injury.

A sixth-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, Burkhead spent his first four seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals. Despite his early struggles with injuries, he became an effective change-of-pace back. In 2017, he signed a one-year deal with New England. The Patriots consistently used Burkhead near the goal-line while Dion Lewis handled the work midfield.

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Aug 19, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; New England Patriots running back Rex Burkhead (34) runs for a touchdown against the Houston Texans during the first half at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Burkhead’s contributions to the Patriots’ postseason run were not as abundant as those during the regular season. He returned to the lineup, but had a limited impact on the outcome of the Patriots playoff games. He did, however, have a 46-yard catch in their Super Bowl loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Burkhead will most likely return to the role he played before going down last season. The Patriots will undoubletlty look to him for assistance on the goal-line, as well as in short-yardage pass catching situations.

Mike D’Abate is a Managing Editor and a National Columnist for Full Press Coverage Sports Media. He covers the New England Patriots and the AFC East. Follow him on Twitter @mdabateFPC


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