Dion Lewis wants to make sure he’s “valued” in free agency

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Patriots running back Dion Lewis played every game in a season for the first time in his career in 2017 and turned in a season that showed his previous bursts of success could be sustained over a longer span.

Lewis ran 180 times for 896 yards and six touchdowns and caught 32 passes for 214 yards and two scores, which pushed him toward unrestricted free agency on a high note. During an appearance on a podcast with Adam Schefter of ESPN, Lewis said that he hopes things work out in a way that allows him to stay in New England but made it clear that he’s not entering the process with blinders on.

“I hope it can work out, but at the same time I’m not putting all my eggs in one basket,” Lewis said. “I know how the team likes to handle their business and as a running back you have to make the most of your opportunity. Me being the player I am, my main thing is you have to go out there next year and show people what type of player I can be. I still think I can improve from this past year, so my main thing is just making sure that I’m valued. That’s my biggest thing, make sure that I’m valued the way I value myself. That would be the biggest thing for me.”

Lewis’ 212 touches in the regular season not only set a career high for a single season, but surpassed the total touches Lewis had in his career to that point. He told Schefter his light workload in the early years of his career leaves him feeling “fresh” and like his career is “just getting started.”

Should someone else feel the same way, it could serve to dash Lewis’ hopes of returning to New England.

40 responses to “Dion Lewis wants to make sure he’s “valued” in free agency

  1. 200 touches and 1100 all purpose yards don’t jump off the paper, but someone will overpay him. His problem is that no one in their right mind would view him as anything more than a scat back, and scat backs don’t typically get big contracts.

    3 years, 15 million.

  2. The Patriots backfield is always impossible to predict, but with the exception of Mike Gillislee, they all contributed this year. I just hope it’s not that money still due Gillislee that squeezes Lewis out.

  3. The thing with Lewis that sets him apart is that it’s his own ability that creates extra yardage, he’s not a running back who just takes what the oline gives him. That’s why he’s at the top of the league in yards after contact, he creates extra yards that the oline doesnt give him, and that’s what makes him special. The only concern should be injury for him, because he’s proven he can run up the middle, and be a game changer. People are undervaluing him because he’s “a patriots back” or he’s “a third down back best in space” but this last season in some games he was the only reason the patriots had a running game

  4. Hoping the Lions stay away. Theo Riddick is a Dion Lewis clone. What the Lions need is a back that can move the pile. I’m tired of watching pass catching backs in Detroit.

  5. Why would he stay?

    He was a big part of the 2016 Pats playoff run even scoring 3 times against the Texans in the divisional round. And while he was used somewhat limited in the game- he still took snaps and had carries and receptions in the 2016 super bowl and won a ring.

    If lewis is smart he knows this is his one shot to get a nice deal. I’f i’m him I look at my situation unemotionally and say I got my ring, now I’m going to set myself and my family up.

  6. He has some rare qualities at the position. He is elusive but has the ability to run with power. He can catch the ball and has decent up field vision. He usually makes intuitive decisions that maximize yardage. He has been prone to catastrophic injury despite the durability he enjoyed last season. Committing huge dollars to any RB is fool hearty in today’s NFL. I hope he gets a decent contract and stays in NE. If not, I hope he breaks the bank with another team.

  7. Lewis and the Pats are a perfect fit. They don’t over use him and he performs when they do. They started effectively using him more in the passing game late in the season whereas he was primarily used for runs early. I loved the way he ran up the middle.

    As a Pats fan, I hope they can cone to an agreement.

  8. .
    He’s never had a payday yet, so money will definitely be a factor. I think the bidding will get too rich for the Patriots blood, but the Lions will end up matching the highest offer and sign Lewis. He’d jumpstart Detroit’s running game in a hurry.
    .

  9. Someone will probably pay him more than the Patriots would, but he’s not going to break the bank in a huge free agent deal. Solid, hard-working player, though, and in the right role could help a team.

  10. RB is such a tough position in today’s NFL. Careers have an extremely short lifespan and even great RBs tend to be undervalued because teams are afraid to put a big contract on a position that takes such constant, brutal punishment.

    Bell is great, but not $14 mil great. Lewis is very good, but it’s unlikely he’ll find any big money offers.

  11. Won’t be able to run well on other teams where the offensive line DOES NOT hold.
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Can you actually name a team where the offensive line does not hold? Didn’t really think this one through before hitting the keyboard huh?

  12. I don’t think the Steelers would give Lewis 10-mil/per, but if Bell goes (hopefully), you could see the Steelers making Lewis a nice offer to team with James Connor and maybe Stevan Ridley (whom they should resign).
    Lewis played at Pitt, and remains very fond of the city; and I’m sure would like to play on a top contender. So, I’d like to see it.

  13. I’m sure somebody will pay him more than the Patriots. He’s a high risk player and I’d be shocked if he made through 2018 without getting another serious injury. Hopefully the Pats have learned their lesson about handing top money to injury prone players after Guys like Mayo and Hightower for that matter. Lewis was in New England for 3 years and hurt half of them so just factoring that stat in makes him worth Half of what a healthy running back should get.

  14. The value placed on the RB position has changed so much over the last 5-10 years, and if you look at average annual salaries for the position, there really isn’t much of an “upper class.”

    That said, I think the franchise tag actually hurts the bulk of RBs heading into free agency, including guys like Lewis, as it will probably be pushing $13M for 2018. If that number were closer to say, $6M, teams might be willing to overpay (relative to the market for the position) for one season. That fully guaranteed amount would actually be beneficial to the player as well, as players like Lewis are going to be hard pressed to earn any more than that $6M guaranteed over the life of a 2-3 year deal– so why not just collect it all in one season and then move on from there?

    In the next CBA I’d like to see a new system for the franchise tag put in place. What if each team could pick their own amount to offer a player, so long as it was fully guaranteed over 1 year? It’s up to the player/agent whether they think it’s a fair offer. It seems like right now the tag only benefits 2-3 elite players per season and does nothing for the league’s middle class.

  15. Lewis has played in 60 NFL games and earned $85,000 for each game, 5.1 million. He’ll probably earn a contract in the 6 million/3yrs range with 1 million guaranteed.

  16. Lewis has been a great player for the Pats but BB does not place enough value on any one individual RB to pay more than he sees as necessary. If Lewis leaves the Pats will roll on with White, Burkhead, Bolden, Gillislee or some yet to be named player….

  17. steelerdeathstar says:
    February 27, 2018 at 1:04 pm
    I don’t think the Steelers would give Lewis 10-mil/per, but if Bell goes (hopefully), you could see the Steelers making Lewis a nice offer to team with James Connor and maybe Stevan Ridley (whom they should resign).
    Lewis played at Pitt, and remains very fond of the city; and I’m sure would like to play on a top contender. So, I’d like to see it.

    ————————-
    Until they prove otherwise thevSteelers are a mid level playoff team. I know their fans like to think they are the next champion pretty much every year, but the reality as proven on the field every year is mid level playoof at best. Slightly better than a one and done.

  18. Dion – New England is the prestige team in the NFL. You can chase a few extra bucks and end up on a bad team with a bad coach going nowhere or you can continue playing for and with the GOATs, Belichick and Brady. New England is special because it’s all about winning. You are loved in Foxboro. Bill Belichick was the one who recognized your talent and gave you an opportunity. It’s not really a hard decision.

  19. NE running backs can translate into being good for other teams. Eagles are just fine and happy with what LeGarrette Blount did in 2017.

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