Fullback Jakob Johnson Reportedly Leaving Patriots To Sign With Raiders

Patriots West is growing


Mar 16, 2022

The Patriots need a new fullback.

Jakob Johnson will leave New England to sign a one-year deal with the Raiders, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported Wednesday afternoon, citing Johnson’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus. Shortly before news of Johnson’s deal broke, multiple reporters reported that veteran Patriots running back Brandon Bolden will join Josh McDaniels in Las Vegas.

Johnson and Bolden will play on a Raiders offense led by McDaniels and four other ex-Patriots assistants.

The 27-year-old Johnson, who grew up in Germany and played college football at Tennessee, joined the Patriots in 2019 as part of the NFL’s International Player Pathway Program. That he earned a spot on New England’s roster surprised even Bill Belichick, but Johnson ultimately proved to be a useful, traditional fullback — a rarity in today’s NFL.

As for potential replacements, should the Patriots want to continue rostering a fullback, New England could turn toward 2020 third-rounder Dalton Keene, who entered the NFL billed as a tight end/fullback hybrid. However, Keene has appeared in just six games during his career due to various injuries, and missed all of the 2021 season.

The Patriots also could target a fullback in the draft, with Michigan State’s Connor Heyward a potential fit.

Thumbnail photo via Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports Images
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