Patriots Sign Bulldozing Rookie RB to 4-Year-Deal: Report

New England Patriots

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he New England Patriots officially signed another member of the 2022 NFL Draft class on Wednesday.

New England signed running back Pierre Strong Jr. to a four-year deal. The rookie deal is worth $4.37 million according to Field Yates.

With Strong signing a deal, New England now has six running backs on the roster. Strong will be competing against Damien Harris, James White, Rhamondre Stevenson, Kevin Harris, and J.J. Taylor.

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It’s clear that Strong will have plenty of competition and he will need to show some flexibility. Strong has indicated his willingness to do anything to move up the depth chart. At minicamp, Strong was also returning kicks along with his running back duties.

“I’m more so a ‘do anything for the team’ type of guy,” Strong said after being drafted. “Anything concerning just helping the team out anyway I can: out the backfield, special teams, anything that helps us. That’s just my style, I’m just willing to help the team win a Super Bowl, that’s just me.

“Wherever New England needs me to play, that’s what I’m gonna do. Anything they need me to do, that’s what I’m gonna do. That’s the type of person and player I am, so I’m not coming in mainly focusing on one thing, I’m focusing on whatever coach wants me to focus on.”

How Many Rookies Still Need a Deal?

While training camp and the regular season inching closer, New England still has some rookies that they need to sign. Cole Strange, Tyquan Thornton, and Bailey Zappe still not having a deal.

It’s simply a matter of time until these players are signed but the Patriots will need to jump through some hoops. According to Miguel Benzan, Patriots cap space expert, New England only has $142,280 left in cap space.

If New England is able to gain some cap space, they will need to do so by restructuring deals. The Patriots will also need to shed some roster space before the start of the regular season.

What Type of Running Back Is Strong?

Strong is coming off of a strong season at South Dakota State where he ran for 1,686 receiving yards and 18 rushing touchdowns.

NFL draft expert Lance Zierlein projected Strong to be a third-round pick and described him as an instinctive running back that could eventually become a starter.

“Strong is more reactive than manipulative but is quite impressive with his spatial awareness and ability to slalom around bodies on a smooth, linear pathway without slowing his roll,” said Zierlein. “He struggles when forced to slow his feet and make early cuts. He needs a north/south run scheme where he can square his pads and find his rhythm quickly. Strong lacks third-down value at this time, but has shown enough to believe it could be in his future.”

So it will be interesting to see how Strong does in his rookie season. He will have to show a lot of promise in order to earn snaps in 2022 but it will be interesting to see how Strong’s future in New England plays out.





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