The New England Patriots were linked to high-profile running backs in Dalvin Cook and Ezekiel Elliott this offseason. They even took a look at Leonard Fournette and Darrell Henderson.

But the Patriots ultimately went in a different direction when adding a free agent running back to their roster.

New England reportedly is signing little-known back C.J. Marable after a successful workout, Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2 Houston reported late Friday night. Marable has never played in the NFL — he did sign as an undrafted free agent with the Chicago Bears in 2021 before getting released — but made a name for himself in the USFL the last two seasons playing for the Birmingham Stallions.

Marable racked up 925 yards rushing and eight touchdowns during his tenure with the Stallions while also recording 48 receptions for 396 yards and two touchdowns. He also has experience returning kicks.

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Marable spent three seasons playing collegiately for Coastal Carolina. He rushed for over 1,000 yards as a junior and registered 33 total touchdowns over his final two seasons with the Chanticleers.

Marable will provide depth at running back for the Patriots as he joins a positional group that already features Rhamondre Stevenson, Kevin Harris, Pierre Strong Jr., J.J. Taylor and Ty Montgomery, who currently is injured.

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The Patriots will need to clear a roster spot to fit Marable on the 90-man roster.

Featured image via Marco Garcia/USA TODAY Sports Images