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Patriots RB Rhamondre Stevenson Shares Latest on Contract Extension Talks

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For the past two seasons in New England, Rhamondre Stevenson has been the Patriots’ lead running back, a role he will continue in 2024 under new offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt. The 26-year-old is entering the final year of his rookie deal and has not shied away from sharing that he would like to stay in New England beyond 2024.

Following a June 10 minicamp workout, Stevenson spoke to reporters and provided an update regarding the ongoing contract extension talks with the organization that drafted him in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

Stevenson expressed optimism about his contract situation, stating that he “feels like” an extension is coming soon via Mike Reiss of ESPN. While this does not confirm that positive negotiations have occurred, it does indicate a mutual desire between Stevenson and the team to reach a deal. “Yeah, it’s pretty close,” Stevenson said when asked where they are in the negotiations.

News story: RB Rhamondre Stevenson says lengthy contract extension negotiation process could be nearing its end with a deal “pretty close.”

“Right now, I’m just trying to get the deal done and get it locked in with the extension,” Stevenson said. “So we can see how that goes,” Stevenson explained. He was open regarding the fact it was his first time going through a contract negotiation during his NFL career. “It’s just a long process,” Stevenson said. “This is how the process goes,” he added. “First time going through it, but just hearing from all of the other guys. This is how it goes. It’s just a negotiation process.”


Stevenson Has Displayed Feature-Back Level Talent Despite Lack of Player-Caller Continuity

Stevenson’s value to New England’s offense is evident through his contributions during his four-year career. Drafted by the Patriots in the fourth round (No. 120 overall), the Oklahoma Sooner product settled for a limited role as a rookie. He appeared in 12 games during his rookie campaign, totaling 606 rushing yards on 133 attempts. But he did display his ability to get into the end zone, recording five rushing touchdowns during the 2021 season.

However, he emerged as the team’s feature-back in 2022, rushing for 1,040 yards and five touchdowns while averaging five yards per carry. Additionally, Stevenson proved to be a versatile backfield receiver, catching 69 passes for 421 yards and one touchdown.

Rhamondre Stevenson with the smoke 💨

The New England Patriots backfield is LOADED

Unfortunately, his 2023 season was cut short due to a high-ankle sprain sustained in Week 13 against the Los Angeles Chargers. Despite this setback, Stevenson managed 619 rushing yards and four touchdowns, averaging four yards per attempt.

It should be noted that the bulk of Stevenson’s career in New England has occurred while the Patriots’ offensive coaching staff was constantly changing. Stevenson has never played in back-to-back seasons under the same offensive coordinator in New England. During Stevenson’s 2021 rookie season, veteran offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was the play-caller for the Patriots, but that only lasted for Stevenson’s rookie season.

In 2022, the Patriots didn’t officially name an offensive coordinator, but former defensive coordinator Matt Patricia and former special teams coach Joe Judge shared play-calling duties for the season. That decision has been widely criticized, especially since the departure of former head coach Bill Belichick.

In 2023, Stevenson played under offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien. The lack of continuity, combined with Stevenson’s excellent year in 2022 without an experienced offensive play-caller, makes his numbers even more impressive.


Stevenson Could Thrive Under New Offensive Coordinator

Heading into the upcoming season healthy and ready, Stevenson is set to play a crucial role in the Patriots’ new-look offense under coordinator Alex Van Pelt. As the offensive coordinator for the Browns in Cleveland, Van Pelt became known for his emphasis on establishing the run to facilitate play-action passes.

What’s your favorite moment with Alex Van Pelt this offseason?

Rhamondre Stevenson: “Favorite moment? All the runs he’s putting in and how he’s scheming them up.”

Stevenson excels when combining his physical, powerful running style with his vision and athleticism to evade tacklers in short-yardage situations. He also possesses a remarkable ability to utilize open field space, making him a valuable receiving target from the backfield. In his career, Stevenson has amassed 782 receiving yards on 121 receptions, 421 of those yards coming during his excellent 2022 season.

The Patriots coaching staff, particularly head coach Jerod Mayo, knows how good Stevenson is and knows he could be even better in Van Pelt’s system. Mayo touched on the contract talks with Stevenson and his hopes for Stevenson during the 2024 season at a June 10 session with reporters released via a team transcript.

“You know, we’ll see. I will say this about Rhamondre,” Mayo said. “I think he’s one of the better backs in the league, it’s no doubt about it. I think over the last few years, it’s been kind of tough on him, as far as getting started. So, I’m excited to see what he does this season. And look, he’s earned everything that he gets. He is our starting running back and hopefully we do get something done.”

#Patriots HC Jerod Mayo on Rhamondre Stevenson:

“I think he’s one of the better backs in the league. It’s no doubt about it. I think over the last couple of years it’s been kind of tough on him, as far as just getting started, so I’m excited to see what he does this season.”

If the Patriots are as optimistic about Stevenson’s future as Mayo expressed to reporters, signing the 26-year-old running back to an extension makes a lot of sense for this offense moving forward.

 

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