Patriots sign Rex Burkhead

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The Patriots have added another piece to their offensive mix.

The team announced that they have signed former Bengals running back Rex Burkhead as a free agent. Burkhead arrived for a visit with the team on Monday and also visited with the Falcons earlier in free agency.

Burkhead spent most of his time with the Bengals playing on special teams, although he showed versatility on offense when given the opportunity by lining up in the backfield and split out as a receiver at different times. His heaviest usage on offense came during the season finale in January when he ran 27 times for for 119 yards and two touchdowns while also catching a pair of passes for 25 yards.

Burkhead isn’t likely to see that kind of workload with the Patriots, but he wouldn’t be the first player overlooked by another team to find his niche in the New England offense. If nothing else, he should earn a long look as a special teamer on a team that’s long found homes for players who excel in that phase of the game.

58 responses to “Patriots sign Rex Burkhead

  1. another guy that maybe doesn’t have good combine grades that can be coached up and used correctly…core special teamer w chance to become part of the offense…great pickup!

  2. Special teams have played big roles in all of the Patriot’s championship runs. They’re certainly not the only team to put extra emphasis on “teams”, but I do believe that they’re at the top of the list among teams that build their roster with ST in mind, not as an afterthought.

  3. Sharp Football analysis has him highly rated. Lost the least yards on unsuccessful plays. Can catch the ball out of the backfield and has size.

  4. Marvin Lewis and Mike Brown are pathetic.

    Rex was a total badass, but Lewis refused to play him while Jeremy Hill stole the show with his 1.7 yards per carry; time and time again.

  5. “Rex Burkhead (visiting NE) was #2 in success rate for RBs. But on plays that weren’t successful, he was the #1 RB in fewest missed yards.”

    -Warren Sharp

    He will be better than people think.

  6. dcs126126 says:
    Mar 14, 2017 4:57 PM
    another guy that maybe doesn’t have good combine grades that can be coached up and used correctly…core special teamer w chance to become part of the offense…great pickup!

    This will be his third year in the league. What do his combine grade have to do with anything?

  7. I thought this guy was a total stud at Nebraska and never understood why the Bengals didn’t use him more. I’d hold off on that “isn’t likely to see that kind of workload with the Patriots” talk. If he ended up as their feature back it wouldn’t surprise me at all.

  8. but they better keep Butler or their screwed.

    —————————–

    I’ve been hearing some version of this for nearly 2 decades now (even from Pats fans) and somehow 11+ wins is always in the cards.

    I think I’ll continue to just trust BB and enjoy my Sunday’s.

  9. truthprofessor says:
    Mar 14, 2017 4:56 PM
    upgrade from Bolden, I’d guess, as a 4-team special teamer, but one who can play offense in pinch also
    =================

    Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner. Bolden’s offensive touches dropped like a stone this past season, even with Lewis out.

  10. patsfan4lifesbchamps says:
    Mar 14, 2017 5:15 PM
    2017 is Superbowl or bust for the Patriots.

    ————————

    I think thats what they go for every year with 2017 being no exception.

  11. patsfan4lifesbchamps says:
    Mar 14, 2017 5:15 PM
    2017 is Superbowl or bust for the Patriots.

    ———-

    What about your Jets? Are they ever going to contend for anything?

  12. The Bengals will never get it. Sad but true. Now we have to watch Hill get 2.8 yds a carry and dance like an idiot when he finally scores.

  13. Don’t know much about the guy, but by the sounds of the comments here it looks like a good addition…. Hopefully a real sleeper pick up for us!!!!
    Go Pats!!?

  14. This signing reminds me of the Mike Vrabel and Rob Ninkovich free agent signings. Neither were starters for their former teams but both became studs on the field for Pats and strong locker room leaders.

  15. staffordisbetterthanyourteamsqb says:
    Mar 14, 2017 5:11 PM
    dcs126126 says:
    Mar 14, 2017 4:57 PM
    another guy that maybe doesn’t have good combine grades that can be coached up and used correctly…core special teamer w chance to become part of the offense…great pickup!

    This will be his third year in the league. What do his combine grade have to do with anything?

    ur right, combine grades mean nothing, which is why i said “maybe”… cuz i dont even know what they were … which means i prob shudnt have even mentioned combine, so good point by you.

    I was only trying to make the point that teams tend to underrate guys like this, and BB uses them for core special teams & with potential to add to offense as well …by coaching them up & using them correctly…in the end getting great value from them..

    see patrick pass, heath evans, sammy morris, kyle eckel, danny woodhead, brandon bolden … and now possibly rex burkhead

  16. Lyin Adam Lee Stevens- Jeremy Hill had 3.9 yards per carry and didn’t fumble once last year. Burkhead is a good player, but not starting caliber.

  17. Dear Commissioner Roger Goodell,

    Please cancel the season immediately as no other teams have a chance to beat the Patriots this year.

    Please also start engraving the Super Bowl trophy with the Patriots name on it & notify the city of Boston to start planning the parade, it’s March 14th 2017 today.

    yours truly,

    the other 31 teams in the N.F.L.

  18. Not only will this guy have more total yards than both Jeremy hill and gio Bernard but he will be the #1 rb in New England this year. He is better than Deion Lewis and James white. This guy is a total stud and an idiot team like the bengals prove time and time again they have never idea what they are doing. It’s sad that the gap in coaching/gm/scouting is so wide in this league and New England is by far and away the best in the NFL. The bengals are among the best in drafting talent but the worst in keeping it and realizing they have it. I remember when when Evan Mathis was a backup to Nate Livings. Yeah you meager heard of Livings cause he was a stiff and Matthis was only a two time all pro on Philly. Man I want to key Mike Browns 88 Buick so bad right now!! Sell the team to someone who want a to win you sociopath!

  19. “Football is a very physical game in which heart and brains — on the right team — can be the most important determinants of success.”

    — Me, just now, channeling Coach Belichick

  20. Belichick loves versatile guys – and RBs that can also catch passes.

    RB was probably an area of need in the draft – I think they still need another LB plus Hightower to re-sign, but damn – I can’t think of a year when the Pats have been in this good shape in the offseason, WELL before the draft.

    Maybe the 16-0 2007 season comes close

    The draft can very much be about the “best player available” for the Pats from start to finish

  21. Every patriot fan has to be a Republican. Just because if your dumb enough to be a Democrat you would think Belichick is racist.

    ———

    Chances are one of these days you’re going to write something intelligent.

    Today is not that day.

    And by the way, i’m not a Republican nor am I a Democrat.

  22. sportschatterdotco says:
    Mar 14, 2017 6:02 PM
    patsfan1820 says:
    Mar 14, 2017 5:22 PM
    Nice signing although some news about Dont’a Hightower would be nice.

    He left Pitt with no contract…

    _________

    I was trying to imagine Hightower working under Steelers linebackers coach Joey Porter.

  23. Born and raised in Nebraska and couldn’t be happier for Rex – he’s a perfect fit in NE.
    He’s a stud, can catch out of the backfield and is not just a 1 cut back. He has patience in finding the hole but is rarely caught for a loss.
    Also, VERY HIGH character.
    I’m thinking BB will be pleased!

  24. i’ve been a bengal fan for 30+ years and loved Rex Burkhead he plays hard and tough as nails…perfect for my new team to root for plus my son now lives in Boston, Go Pats!

  25. Thanks for all the input regarding Rex Burkhead. I’ve heard the name before, but knew little about his NFL career nor of his character. He sounds tailor made for another Belichickian success story.

  26. Good signing, Rex takes Brandon Bolden”s spot on the roster. Both are core special teams players, but Bolden has declined to the point where he only got 1 carry on offense the whole year. Burkhead will be a player Bill can rely on for a few touches every game, without much downgrade like Bolden was. It will give this offense a handful more plays in the playbook to take advantage of his versatility. Go down the list on offense, adding Cooks, Burkhead and a healthy, second year Malcolm Mitchell, to Edelman, Hogan, Amendola, White, Lewis, Gronkowski, Allen, and hopefully Blount, and they will keep every defense off balance this year like has never been seen before. There ain’t gonna be no sleep for these poor opposing D-coordinators on Pats week this year!!!

  27. As a Bengal fan, I can say this is a perfect fit. It is probably the best fa signing. If utilized correctly, he will be a 1,000 rusher and 800 yd receiver. This guy was rotting in Cincy. He is a GREAT player who plays hard and has excellent instincts. Rex is light years ahead of Jeremy Hill. I guess their going to draft Joe Mixon!!!smh

  28. Bengals fans, it was Gio or Rex, not Rex or Jeremy. Rex is not the bruiser they want Jeremy Hill to be and they weren’t going to run a tandem of Gio and Rex because there’s no “change of pace” with those 2. I wish sometimes this team would stop trying to be so loyal and just cut bait on guys so the younger cheaper alternatives can play, but that’s just not how they do business. You can be mad that Rex got away, but don’t act like it has anything at all to do with Jeremy Hill.

    As for Rex’s usefulness with the Pats, I think he will fit very well there, but I’m not entirely sure he’ll see the field a ton. BB has shown that if you’re a RB and you have a good game, you might sit the next one to keep the opposing team guessing. Rex will get more carries than if he had stayed in Cincy (Marvin is an idiot), but he won’t be getting the usage he said he was looking for. Also, his value in special teams might keep him from getting double digit touches in the backfield or slot. He may not love this move.

  29. stoneydog1000 says:
    Mar 14, 2017 6:14 PM

    Lyin Adam Lee Stevens- Jeremy Hill had 3.9 yards per carry and didn’t fumble once last year. Burkhead is a good player, but not starting caliber.
    ——————————–
    Don’t lie, Hill averaged 3.8 YPC. Ha!

  30. Nice pick up!!!

    I’ve got $400 on the Pats to win Super Bowl in February.. +500 I’m feeling really really good!

  31. I’m curious to see how they intend to use him.

    I would have assumed he’d be a replacement for the Bolden role, but they’re paying him like a feature back.

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