Ezekiel Elliott has finally found a new home in the league.
The longtime Dallas Cowboys running back will sign a one-year deal with the New England Patriots, according to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
The one-year deal can be worth up to $6 million with incentives, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. It includes a $3 million base salary and a $1 million signing bonus.
Elliott has spent his entire career with the Cowboys, who first took him with the No. 4 overall pick in 2016. He quickly became a fan favorite during his tenure in Dallas, and started 102 games over seven seasons. He led the league in rushing twice and racked up four 1,000-yard seasons.
Last year, however, ran for a career-low 876 yards and averaged a career-worst 3.8 yards per carry. His massive six-year, $90 million deal with the team became too much, and the team released him earlier this summer. The Cowboys used the franchise tag on Tony Pollard after failing to reach a long-term deal with him this summer. Pollard is recovering from a broken fibula, but he’s expected to be ready to go by Week 1. The Cowboys also brought in Ronald Jones this past offseason, but he was suspended for two games for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing substances policy.
Elliott has been without a home ever since. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones hinted at a possible reunion earlier this month, but now that’s off the table. The Cowboys will host the Patriots on Oct. 1, however, so Elliott will get a return trip to Dallas quickly.
Elliott visited the Patriots last month, per the Boston Globe. The Patriots have been looking for a backup for starter Rhamondre Stevenson this offseason, especially with Ty Montgomery’s recent string of injuries. The Patriots released James Robinson in June, and also have Kevin Harris, Pierre Strong Jr., J.J. Taylor and C.J. Marable available.
Elliott will now likely work with Stevenson this season. Stevenson, 25, ran for a career-high 1,040 yards and had six total touchdowns last season, his second in New England.
The Patriots missed the postseason last year for the second time in three years. They will open their season officially on Sept. 10 against the Philadelphia Eagles.