Ezekiel Elliot’s Dwindling production and price tag helped hasten their end dallas cowboys tenure.

after spending the spring and most of the summer of the nfl he landed with free agency jungle new England PatriotsA team called upon him for the first time in his career to be a complementary member at running back.

It’s a new world for a 28-year-old. It remains to be determined whether this is a role in which he can excel.

For now, he’s just happy to have the opportunity to be back on an NFL field.

“I was at home for a long time, so I had a lot of energy. I think I missed the first 17 practices of camp. So, I thought I should definitely come in, be a little energized at least, “The changes have been good. I’m getting along with the team. I like the coach, I like the atmosphere, I like the program. I’m just enjoying it,” said Wednesday.

Elliott acknowledged he is still finding his rhythm, having spent most of last week as well as getting used to new faces and new playbook vocabulary during his limited time on the field.

Although he continues to work unsigned, he’s still adapting after his March 15 release in Dallas.

He was on the sidelines for the Patriots’ second preseason game. green Bay last week but did not play before the game was canceled in the fourth quarter. It’s unclear whether that will change for New England’s final exhibition on Friday Tennessee,

“I’m definitely excited to be here playing football,” Elliott said. “Not being signed in the offseason and not being headed into camp – I’m worried. I’m ready to go out there and put the ball down.”

All of this is a readjustment in trajectory as it prepares to enter its eighth season.

The No. 4 overall choice by Dallas in 2016, Elliott ran for 68 touchdowns and over 8,000 yards in seven seasons. He led the NFL in rushing yards in 2016, when he was runner-up for the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year award, and again in 2018.

He signed a six-year, $90 million extension with the Cowboys in 2019, but his yards per game and overall usage continued to decline, leading him to be cut.

He eventually signed a one-year deal with the Patriots, worth $4 million with incentives that could increase his compensation to $6 million, according to a source with the Associated Press.

Still, Elliott dismisses the idea of ​​having something to prove this upcoming season.

Elliott said, “I don’t think anything can put more pressure on me than the expectations I put on myself.” “It’s not really about going out there to prove anything to anybody. It’s just about going out there to show what kind of player I am.”

He has already started building relationships with his new teammates.

veteran linebacker matt judon Elliott’s passion was evident during his second day of combined practice with the Packers last week, when Elliott jumped up and barked at Green Bay players during some heated moments.

“That competitive nature came out,” Judon said. “Whoever was in his colors, whoever was wearing his jersey, that’s what he was standing behind, that’s what he was supporting. I think he’s speaking that role and really I’m being assertive – you just see that he’s matured in the game of football, in the NFL and in any locker room you put him at ease.”

But Elliott’s extended time as a free agent could be a sign that he is no longer viewed as a lead backfield option at this point in his career, and that he may be expected to replace starter Raimondre Stevenson as proposed by the Patriots. Not expected.

The most likely places he’ll find him on the field will be in short-yardage situations, which is one of the biggest shortcomings for New England’s offense, especially around the goal line in 2022. The Patriots had 12 total rushing touchdowns last season, which was tied for 22nd. League.

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Elliott said, “So far it’s been good hanging out with Stevenson.”

Elliot said, “We’ve known each other for a long time.” “He’s a back who has a similar running style to me, so I think we’ll be able to complement each other very well.”

Elliott said he was content to let his game determine his future.

“I think my style of play and the culture of this team is a good match. I think I’m a good fit,” he said.

Reporting by The Associated Press.

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