The New England Patriots’ free-agent spending continued on Wednesday. This time, they brought back two of their own free agents.
On Wednesday, the Patriots re-signed veteran running back James White and defensive lineman Lawrence Guy.
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Running back James White is expected to re-sign with the New England Patriots, per source. It's not done but should be pretty soon. The versatile RB with 25 touchdown catches since 2014 back in the fold for New England.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) March 24, 2021
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
The #Patriots spending spree continues! 💰 SportsCenter 5's @cgasper has confirmed that all-decade defensive lineman Lawrence Guy has agreed to stay in New England on a 4-year deal. #NFL #football #freeagency #champion #captain https://t.co/tZN8YXuEFm pic.twitter.com/jmE2T5Jbv8
— WCVB-TV Boston (@WCVB) March 24, 2021
Both men are more than just key contributors in their on-field roles. They’re both captains and powerful locker room presences.
If you could sum up the Patriots’ offseason with two words, it would be depth and character.
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Twitter Reacts to White’s Signing
ESPN’s Mike Reiss chimes in with this noteworthy reaction:
First David Andrews … now James White. After investing an unprecedented amount of money on free agents who haven't been part of their organization — which comes with notable risk — the Patriots' ability to retain culture-type pillars like Andrews and White seems critical.
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) March 24, 2021
Bill Belichick knew his team had some serious holes at several positions. He spent the early portions of free agency plugging most–if not all–of those gaps. The last four or five days have been about bringing back the valuable leaders from the past several seasons.
ESPN’s Field Yates drops a stat that undoubtedly speaks to Belichick:
James White career touches: 678
James White career fumbles lost: 0 https://t.co/SYqFimeD0I
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 24, 2021
White’s steadiness on and off the field has been exemplary. His history of taking care of the football is so appropriate.
There may be no better representation of a player’s value to a team than his teammates’ words about him. NESN’s Zack Cox posted comments from Patriots running back Damien Harris:
Damien Harris on James White in December: "I can’t even put into words how much you can learn from a guy like James White. … James White is definitely a guy you can say, ‘Yeah, I want to be like James White when I grow up.’ "
— Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) March 24, 2021
In his seven seasons in the NFL–all with the Patriots–White has been a part of three Super Bowl teams. That includes scoring the game-winning touchdown in the Super Bowl against the Atlanta Falcons.
Welcome back to New England James White 🔥. Never forget when he capped off the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history with a touchdown in overtime 🏆 pic.twitter.com/Z3qhp1ny8O
— Pats Buzz (@PatsBuzz) March 24, 2021
White is a legend in New England and it would seem appropriate for him to finish his career with the Patriots.
In seven seasons, White whose primary production has come as a receiver out of the backfield, has registered 369 receptions for 3,184 yards, and 25 TDs. As a rusher, he has 1,240 yards on 309 carries (four yards per attempt) and 10 TDs.
Twitter Reacts to Guy’s Re-Signing
You’d be hard-pressed to find a player who has been more consistent as a run-stuffing defensive lineman and a more charitable athlete than Lawrence Guy. In fact, part of the reason Guy returned to the Patriots on a reported four-year deal was so that he and his wife could continue their work with his foundation. Talk show host Amy Lawrence mentioned this in her tweet:
Glad to hear DL Lawrence Guy will return to New England on a four-year deal. He and his family want to continue their charity work there. I enjoyed talking to Lawrence during SB Week about the #Patriots challenging season, Belichick, Brady and giving back. https://t.co/7nKMzQgvIS
— Amy Lawrence (@ALawRadio) March 25, 2021
You can see, the Patriots loved their leadership in 2020, despite the disappointing finish. Guy was the fourth 2020 captain the team brought back this offseason, as pointed out by Keagan Stiefel.
The #Patriots have re-signed four captains this offseason. Cam Newton, David Andrews, James White, and Lawrence Guy all return for another go around.
The off field stuff is so much more important than you may think.
— Keagan Stiefel (@KeaganStiefel) March 24, 2021
The Patriots’ defensive line is stout and deep. Guy, Deatrich Wise, Davon Godchaux, Harry Anderson, and Byron Cowart give the team plenty of beef on the line with some promising and proven linebackers behind them.
— Evan Lazar (@ezlazar) March 24, 2021
Expecting the Patriots to be a Top-5 defense in the NFL isn’t a crazy expectation. There are a few secondary concerns, mostly at cornerback with the possibility of a trade involving Stephon Gilmore. Still, at almost every other position, the Patriots look like a team that it will tough to score against in 2021.
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