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Report: Patriots Sign RB Rhamondre Stevenson to Four-Year Contract Extension 

With Stevenson heading into the final year of his rookie deal, the Patriots keep their starting running back in the fold for the foreseeable future. 

Patriots running back Rhamondre Stevenson (38).
Patriots running back Rhamondre Stevenson (38).

The Patriots continue locking in their core players by signing lead-running back Rhamondre Stevenson to a four-year contract extension on Thursday, according to multiple reports.

As a 2021 fourth-round pick, the 26-year-old was heading into the final year of his rookie contract. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport is reporting Stevenson's new deal is worth $36 million, with $17 million in guaranteed money and an $8 million signing bonus. Based on average annual value, Stevenson is now the seventh-highest-paid running back in the NFL.

Stevenson hinted the extension was close to complete during the Patriots mandatory minicamp last week, where head coach Jerod Mayo called him "one of the better backs in the league."

"I'm excited to see what he does this season," Mayo continued. "He's earned everything he gets. He is our starting running back."

The move to extend Stevenson follows a trend for EVP of Player Personnel Eliot Wolf of retaining New England's best players. This offseason, the team gave Christian Barmore, Mike Onwenu, Kyle Dugger, Hunter Henry, Kendrick Bourne, Anfernee Jennings, David Andrews, and now Stevenson some long-term security.

Over the last two seasons, Stevenson has a team-high 2,318 scrimmage yards, while he ranked ninth among running backs with 1,461 yards from scrimmage in his breakout 2022 campaign. Stevenson's production took a hit as the Pats offense hit rock bottom in 2023, but most of that was due to the blocking in front of him deteriorating.

If the Patriots offensive line can improve this season, Stevenson has proven to be a highly capable lead-back who can be among the league's most productive ball carriers. This spring, a trimmed-down Stevenson has looked poised for a big year. He has also watched Browns star running back Nick Chubb's film to better understand new OC Alex Van Pelt's system.

In Van Pelt's offense, New England is expected to transition to more outside zone run-blocking schemes to build play-action passes featuring bootlegs off the stretch runs. To make the scheme work, Stevenson, like Chubb, will be a major part of the offense.

Although the decision to extend a good player is understandable, there's potential risk here with extending a running back into his late 20s. We'll need to see how the deal is structured. But history tells us that the wear and tear catches up to running backs more than any other position, which is why it's difficult for RBs to get second and third contracts in the NFL.

The Patriots are taking on some risk by giving Stevenson, who has 473 touches since 2022 and only played 12 games last season due to injury, a second contract. From this perspective, the hope is that the deal is essentially a two-year deal, and the Patriots could get themselves out of years three and four if Stevenson starts to break down.

Ultimately, Mayo and Wolf rewarding foundational players they view as part of their core moving forward is good. Like remodeling a house, the Pats top brass appear to believe the Patriots roster wasn't a complete teardown. Instead, they're keeping the elements of the house they like in place while removing the pieces that weren't working.

There's also the angle that the Patriots have roughly $45 million in cap space currently and will likely lead the NFL in cap space in the 2025 offseason. In other words, they can afford to give Stevenson this contract with little impact on future moves, even if paying running backs isn't generally considered great practice.

With a whole new coaching staff and quarterback room, retaining Stevenson and other offensive veterans will hopefully chart a better course for the offense moving forward.

DISCLAIMER: The views and thoughts expressed in this article are those of the writer and don't necessarily reflect those of the organization. Read Full Disclaimer

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