NFL Rumors: Patriots Hosted Dolphins RFA Running Back Damien Williams


The New England Patriots are exhausting all resources when it comes to finding running backs this offseason.

The Patriots hosted Miami Dolphins restricted free-agent running back Damien Williams on Wednesday, a league source told ESPN’s Field Yates. The Patriots also reportedly recently hosted Bills restricted free-agent running back Mike Gillislee.

Williams was given an original-round tender by the Dolphins. Since he came into the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2014, the Patriots would not be required to give up compensation for the running back in the event Miami failed to match New England’s prospective offer sheet.

Williams, 25, was signed by the Dolphins as a rookie free agent out of Oklahoma in 2014. He had 35 carries for 115 yards and three touchdowns and 23 receptions for 249 yards and three touchdowns last season with the Dolphins. He has 87 career carries for 296 yards and three touchdowns and 65 receptions for 578 yards with five touchdowns in three seasons. He also played 291 special-teams snaps with the Dolphins last season.

Williams likely would project with a Brandon Bolden-esque role with the Patriots as a special teamer and backup that can serve as both an early-down and pass-catching back.

The 5-foot-11, 228-pound running back ran a 4.45-second 40-yard dash at the combine in 2014 with a 7.37-second three-cone, 4.25-second short shuttle, 35.5-inch vertical leap and 10-foot, 1-inch broad jump.

The Patriots already signed running back Rex Burkhead this offseason. They also have James White, Dion Lewis, Brandon Bolden and D.J. Foster on their roster. LeGarrette Blount remains an unrestricted free agent. The Patriots have been tied to running backs Adrian Peterson and Marshawn Lynch this offseason.

Thumbnail photo via Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports Images

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