The Dallas Cowboys parted ways with former Pro Bowl running back Ezekiel Elliott earlier this offseason, and ever since fans have been speculating about where he could end up. With a little under a month before the start of the regular season, Eliotit finally made his free agency decision.
The Cowboys did not rule out the possibility of a return to Dallas for Elliott. But Elliott weighed his options pretty thoroughly throughout the offseason, and notably went on a “successful” free agency visit with the New England Patriots last month.
Instead of returning to the Cowboys, Elliott opted to join the Patriots on a one-year deal worth up to $6 million, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Rapoport added that Elliott plans to wear the No. 15, which was his number at Ohio State.
The #Patriots are expected to sign former #Cowboys star RB Ezekiel Elliott to a 1-year deal worth up to $6M after his successful FA visit earlier in camp, per me and @TomPelissero. Some backfield help for NE and a new home for Zeke… who plans to rock his No. 15 from college. pic.twitter.com/LrdbpHp17h
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 14, 2023
Elliott confirmed the report on social media, sending a message to Patriots fans on Twitter.
“One Five, all the way live!@Patriots,” tweeted Elliott.
One Five, all the way live ! @Patriots
— Ezekiel Elliott (@EzekielElliott) August 14, 2023
Fans took to social media to offer their opinion on Elliott’s signing.
The Patriots have signed Ezekiel Elliott.
Reinforcements for the New England backfield! pic.twitter.com/eXhkfGf3fu
— Pats Buzz (@PatsBuzz) August 14, 2023
The idea of Ezekiel Elliott playing with the Cowboys again is officially over. He’s going to New England. pic.twitter.com/BN3FS0SVBI
— Ernie (@es3_09) August 14, 2023
Rhamondre Stevenson and Ezekiel Elliott may be one of the best backfields in the league.
Plus a top 15 offensive line, according to PFF… Patriots could be sneaky. pic.twitter.com/CvsbK7Dmt0
— Jordan Moore (@iJordanMoore) August 14, 2023
Ezekiel Elliott will return to AT&T Stadium on October first to face the Cowboys as a member of the New England Patriots. pic.twitter.com/H96lM74FMr
— Michael Bier (@MichaelJBier) August 14, 2023
Elliott is coming off perhaps the worst year of his career last season, recording 876 rushing yards along with a career-low 3.8 yards per carry. More importantly, he didn’t exactly pass the eye test, looking like a far less explosive player than he has in previous years.
It will certainly be interesting to see what Elliott’s role looks like in New England. Second-year running back Rhamondre Stevenson emerged as one of the best young running backs in the league last season, recording nearly 1,500 scrimmage yards for the Patriots in 2022.
This news also makes the Patriots’ Week 4 game extremely interesting. The Patriots will head to Dallas to face the Cowboys on October 1st.