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.