Patriots’ Jerod Mayo Doesn’t Hold Back On Top Offensive Weapon

Rhamondre Stevenson, New England Patriots
Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

New England Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo does not have a whole lot of elite offensive talent at his disposal as he enters his debut campaign in Foxborough. Actually, he may not have any at all.

That’s why he wants to ensure that he keeps any talented playmakers he has happy, which is why he is singing the praises of running back Rhamondre Stevenson.

Stevenson is entering the final year of his rookie contract, but no progress has been made on a new deal. However, Mayo is making sure that Stevenson knows he is appreciated.

“You know, we’ll see. I will say this about Rhamondre,” Mayo said, via Nick Shook of NFL.com. “I think he’s one of the better backs in the league, it’s no doubt about it. I think over the last few years, it’s been kind of tough on him, as far as getting started. So, I’m excited to see what he does this season. And look, he’s earned everything that he gets. He is our starting running back and hopefully we do get something done.”

Stevenson is slated to earn $3.1 million in base salary in 2024.

Should the Patriots Extend Rhamondre Stevenson?

Stevenson, who played his collegiate football at the University of Oklahoma, was selected by the Patriots in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

He enjoyed a decent rookie campaign, rushing for 606 yards and five touchdowns while averaging 4.6 yards per carry. Then, in 2022, Stevenson broke out, racking up 1,040 yards and five score while logging a robust five yards per attempt. He also hauled in 69 receptions for 421 yards and a score.

The 26-year-old appeared to be an ascending talent heading into his third season, but Stevenson ended up registering just 619 yards and four touchdowns while posting a pedestrian four yards per tote last year. His production as a pass-catcher fell off, too, as he caught 38 passes for 238 yards.

It should be noted that Stevenson was limited to just 12 games due to injuries in 2023, but even when he was healthy, he was clearly not one of the league’s best halfbacks.

In a modern NFL where running backs are not valued nearly as highly as they once were, Stevenson should not expect to get paid a whole lot. Obviously, a strong 2024 will go a long way in displaying that he definitely can be an integral piece on a roster, but even then, he probably still won’t land a very lucrative deal.

If New England does consider extending Stevenson, it probably won’t be a deal he likes a whole lot and would almost surely be laced with incentives.

Stevenson may be better served betting on himself in 2024 and then testing free agency next March.

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