The New England Patriots shook up their running back group earlier this week by signing Rex Burkhead to a one-year, $3.15 million contract — a very lucrative deal compared to what the team typically pays its ball carriers.
Dion Lewis gave his take on the signing Thursday during an appearance promoting the Patriots’ Super Bowl LI championship DVD.
“Obviously, (Burkhead) is a great player, because (Patriots coach Bill Belichick) brought him in,” Lewis said, via MassLive.com. “He brought him in because he thinks he can help us win, so I can’t wait to meet him. Every year is competition. Every year it’s eight backs in training camp. (I’m) looking forward to it.”
Burkhead will make more than Lewis and fellow Patriots running back James White combined this season, and his addition lowered the likelihood of the team re-signing LeGarrette Blount.
Blount led New England in carries and rushing yards in 2016 and scored an NFL-best 18 rushing touchdowns, but he’s yet to land a new contract since becoming an unrestricted free agent last Thursday.
“Of course, you know, (Blount) is one of my closest friends,” Lewis said, via MassLive.com. “Obviously football is a business, too, so there’s a business side of it. He’s going to do what’s best for him and his family. But I wish him the best of luck no matter what happens.”
Lewis played in seven games for the Patriots this season after recovering from ACL surgery, carrying the ball 64 times for 283 yards. He played one of the best games of his career in the divisional-playoff round, scoring a rushing touchdown, a receiving touchdown and a kick-return touchdown in a win over the Houston Texans.
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