Patriots keep RB Rex Burkhead with three-year deal


The New England Patriots held on to one free-agent running back.

The Pats agreed to a three-year contract with Rex Burkhead, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reports, according to a source informed of the deal. Rapoport adds the deal is heavy on guaranteed money.

The Boston Globe first reported the signing.

Burkhead signed a one-year deal in New England last offseason. The Swiss Army Knife earned a new contract by compiling 264 yards on 64 carries (4.1 average) with five rushing touchdowns, adding 30 receptions for 254 yards and three receiving TDs.

The biggest issue in Burkhead's first season with the Pats was health. The running back missed six regular season games and one playoff tilt. While dealing with a knee injury down the stretch, Burkhead took just four carries in the playoffs for 23 yards.

The 5-foot-10 pinball is a versatile tailback, which fits the Patriots' profile. Burkhead owns elusiveness between the tackles, is a plus receiving back and had success as a short yardage back in goal-line situations.

With Dion Lewis departing for Tennessee, keeping Burkhead in New England alongside James White and Mike Gillislee became a priority. In locking down Burkhead, the Pats were able to make sure they didn't lose two multifaceted backs this offseason.