NFL

Patriots extend Rhamondre Stevenson, give running back $17 million in guaranteed money

The Patriots are continuing on their “draft and develop” mantra that Eliot Wolf has put in place.

According to multiple sources, New England has agreed to a four-year, $36 million contract extension with running back Rhamondre Stevenson.

The deal reportedly includes $17 million in fully guaranteed money and an $8 million signing bonus. There are also “a total of $12M available in incentives based on reaching at least 1,400 yards and becoming a Pro Bowler or All-Pro,” according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapaport.

Here’s a full look at the incentive breakdown (via Rapoport):

The extension makes Stevenson the seventh highest-paid running back in the NFL in terms of average annual value, behind Christian McCaffrey (AAV $19M), Alvin Kamara (AAV $15M), Jonathan Taylor (AAV $14), Saquon Barkley (AAV $12.583M), and Joe Mixon (AAV $9.875M).

“It’s pretty close,” Stevenson told reporters last week when asked if he and the team are close to wrapping up extension talks. He added: “It’s just a long process. This is how the process goes. First time going through it. But just hearing from all the other guys, this is how it goes. It’s just a negotiation process, things like that. But just respecting the process.”

Throughout his three-year career, Stevenson has notched a total of 2,265 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground while adding 121 receptions for 782 yards and one touchdown. His career year came in 2022, with 1,040 yards (5.0 YPC) on the ground and 69 catches for 421 yards through the air.

There’s been debate in recent years over whether running backs deserve to cash in, but Stevenson’s well-rounded skill set justifies his pay day. In addition to being an effective rusher and receiver, he’s also been one of the best pass protectors at his position since entering the league.

Stevenson ended last season on injured reserve after suffering a high ankle sprain in Week 13, which was caused by a now-illegal hip-drop tackle. These were the first games the back missed since missing a 2021 matchup due to illness. He was an healthy scratch at times in 2021, but appeared in every game the next season. Stevenson has also been a full participant in practice and told reporters he’s cut fat while adding muscle this offseason.

Stevenson will look to become the bell cow in the Patriots’ 2024 offense led by offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt, whose offense with the Browns over the last several seasons helped lead to the success of All-Pro running back Nick Chubb.

“For me, I just turned on… Nick Chubbs’ highlights,” Stevenson explained when asked about the success that running backs have had in this offense. “Just seeing him running all throughout defenses with it. The linemen are on the right courses. Everything looks well put together and everybody’s working together. So I hope we could get that done this year.”

The 26-year-old becomes the eighth homegrown talent to resign in New England this offseason, joining safety Kyle Dugger, tackle Mike Onwenu, tight end Hunter Henry, wide receiver Kendrick Bourne, linebacker Joshua Uche, and linebacker Anfernee Jennings.

Follow Mike on Twitter @mikekadlick for the latest up-to-date Patriots and Boston sports news!

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Mike Kadlick

Mike is a Patriots reporter with experience in radio, podcasting, and writing. Follow him on Twitter @mikekadlick.

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