Ex-Patriots Playmaker Linked to Former Super Bowl Nemesis: Insider

Bill Belichick

Getty Bill Belichick could see former Patriots running back James Robinson again.

The New England Patriots might not see the last of running back James Robinson following his release on Monday, June 12.

CBS Sports’ Jordan Dajani projects Robinson to join the New York Giants as one of several “potential landing spots” for the former Illinois State star. The Patriots face the Giants in November for the third time since their second of two Super Bowl clashes earlier in the millennia.

Dajani sees Robinson as a potential solution to the Giants’ pensive running back situation. Robinson previously played with the New York Jets in 2022 before his brief stint with the Patriots this year.

“The Giants have a star running back in Saquon Barkley, but he has not signed his franchise tag, which has many wondering if this situation could get a little messy,” Dajani wrote. “Behind Barkley on the depth chart, New York has rookie Eric Gray, Jashaun Corbin, Gary Brightwell and Matt Breida. If the Giants wanted to add another player with experience that wouldn’t cost much, Robinson would be a candidate.”

Dajani also suggested the Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Chargers, and Los Angeles Rams as possibilities. The Patriots could also see Robinson again if he landed with the Chargers as the two will meet in December.

“The Chargers have witnessed first-hand what Robinson is capable of,” Dajani wrote. “He rushed for 119 yards and scored two touchdowns against Los Angeles in his rookie season, and 100 yards plus another touchdown against the Chargers this past season.”

Robinson has 2,262 rushing yards for 18 touchdowns plus 91 receptions for 617 yards and five touchdowns in his career. He caught on with the Jacksonville Jaguars as an undrafted free agent in 2020 where he tallied 1,070 yards and seven touchdowns as a rookie.

Injuries Hinder James Robinson’s Career

Things went south for Robinson with an Achilles tear late in 2021, and the Jaguars traded him after seven games in 2022. He did little with the Jets in four game appearances last season before he signed with New England in March.

New England’s decision to release Robinson came down to his proneness to injury according to a source via The Athletic’s Jeff Howe. Robinson also sustained knee and heel injuries.

The Patriots previously gave Robinson a two-year deal of $4 million, which had incentives. His departure leaves New England with Rhamondre Stevenson, Pierre Strong Jr., Ty Montgomery, and Kevin Harris at running back.

Stevenson led the way for the Patriots last season with 1,040 yards and five touchdowns last season. Strong could emerge as the team’s second back as Montgomery primarily played receiver last year.

Montgomery, however, has proven success at running back in the NFL. He has a career average of 4.5 yards per carry and a career-high yardage total of 457 yards from 2016.

Harris could also compete for carries in 2023 after just 18 carries for 52 yards and a touchdown as a rookie.

Veteran Free Agent RB Options Remain for Patriots

If the Patriots choose to add another running back before training camp in July, several veterans remain on the free agent market.

That includes Dalvin Cook, Ezekiel Elliott, Kareem Hunt, and Leonard Fournette. None of the aforementioned running backs will come cheap in free agency, and the Patriots only have $14.79 million to work with.

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