James White Re-Signs with Patriots: ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting the New England Patriots have re-signed RB James White to a one-year deal worth $2.5 million, which is fully guaranteed.
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Patriots are giving RB James White a one-year, $2.5 million fully-guaranteed deal, per source. Deal official, as @JFowlerESPN reported it would be.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 24, 2021
James White Re-Signs with Patriots
Another NFL season, another year in which the Patriots will employ a stable of role-playing backs who deliver when their number is called. However, of all the rushers who have been in and out of the Patriots’ organization through the years, James White has been the primary model of consistency at the position.
Sure, White has had his ebbs and flows — and who doesn’t? — but he’s also been the one running back who has earned the trust of New England brass.
Per the Providence Jornal, White “entered the 2020 season with the most receptions (315), receiving yards (2,786) and receiving touchdowns (24) by a running back in the NFL since 2015." On top of his pass-catching contributions, White can also handle his own as a rusher while being called upon in pass-protection.
White is also trustworthy from a ball-security standpoint. In his seven-year NFL career, White has only fumbled two times, losing one of them. Albeit, White doesn’t receive Derrick Henry touches, but two fumbles and one fumble lost on 408 career touches in seven years remains a remarkable feat.
Although White is coming off one of the worst seasons of his career, I am not sure it is all on the 29-year-old rusher. Not only did he tragically lose his father in a car accident amidst the 2020 campaign, but White’s mother was also severely injured in the crash as well — she survived.
While White still managed to appear in 14 games last season, he only touched the ball 84 times, his fewest amount of touches since 2015 (62). White turned those 84 touches (49 receptions) into 496 total yards (375 receiving) and three total scores. White averaged 5.9 yards per touch in 2020. In his 2019 campaign, however, White managed 6.5 yards per touch, second amongst qualifying backs.
Entering the 2021 season, the Patriots currently have five running backs under contract. Including White, New England also employs Sony Michel, Damien Harris, J.J. Taylor, Brandon Bolden and Jakob Johnson, who is categorized as a fullback.
We know that Michel and Harris will be the team’s primary early-down backs, but when it comes to pass-catching and pass-pro duties, White’s role is clear-cut.
White has won three Super Bowls with the Patriots in his seven-year career.
Patriots 2021 NFL Betting Outlook
Patriots to Make the 2021 Playoffs (+135)
The Patriots currently hold (+135) odds to make the NFL Playoffs in 2021 at PoinsBet. A 7-9 team last season, the Patriots are primed to return to the postseason following their one-year hiatus. How the Patriots wound up with a 7-9 record last season is beyond me.
Not only did they employ Cam Newton, who wasn’t quite the same following his COVID-19 diagnosis, but he also did not have much help in terms of supporting cast. Between injuries, personnel departures, and COVID opt-outs, the 2020 Patriots put one of their worst rosters of player personnel on the field in the Bill Belichick era.
Barring injuries, the Patriots will field a better club — on paper — in 20221. The Patriots have been uber-aggressive in free agency. Additions that include OT Trent Brown (via trade with Raiders), TE Jonnu Smith, TE Hunter Henry, LB Kyle Van Noy, WR Kendrick Bourne, WR Nelson Agholor and DB Jalen Mills, amongst a laundry list of others, it is no secret that Belichick is primed to get his club — and his legacy — back on the right path.
While they still employ Newton as their quarterback, the expected Week 1 starter, I believe the 31-year old signal-caller, who will turn 32 on May 22, struggled last season because of COVID and a lack of weapons.
There will be no excuses in 2021, however. The Patriots made their offensive line stronger while surrounding Newton with the two best tight ends on the open market. They also added wide receivers (Agholor and Bourne), who, despite not having the household names, are still upgrades over the crash test dummies New England fielded in 2020.
I’ll take the Patriots at (+135) odds to make the postseason in 2021 without hesitation.