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Rhamondre Stevenson: Top 10 Running Back?

It's all about the money.

Rhamondre Stevenson smiling as money is falling from the sky
Rhamondre Stevenson happy to get paid


Rhamondre Stevenson should be a happy man. On June 20th, 2024, he and the New England Patriots agreed to a four-year, $36 million extension, with $17 million fully guaranteed (via ESPN). This deal makes Stevenson the seventh highest-paid running back in the NFL. 

So, what do we know about Rhamondre Stevenson? What can we take away from this extension?



The New England Patriots drafted Rhamondre Stevenson in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL draft. There was not much hype surrounding him as he was the seventh running back taken. Since then, he has quietly emerged as one of the better running backs in the league. 

In his rookie year, he had over 600 rushing yards, 200 receiving yards, and five touchdowns in twelve games, all while splitting carries with Damien Harris. 2022 was supposed to be Stevenson's breakout season since Harris was likely to leave in free agency and leave the starting position open. 

Harris left for Buffalo, and Stevenson took over as the Patriots' starting running back. Stevenson had a solid season, rushing for 1,050 yards and five touchdowns. He also had 69 receptions for 429 yards and another touchdown. He had the twelfth-most rushing yards and the fourth-most receptions among running backs (via PFF). 

Unfortunately, 2023 was a step back from his first two seasons. In twelve games, Stevenson had another 600-yard rushing, 200-yard receiving season with only two total touchdowns. 


The Truth

The stats can certainly look concerning on the surface, but context quickly reveals how the numbers do not always tell the whole story. 

2023 was a complete dumpster fire of a season for the Patriots. The offense could not get anything going all season. According to PFF, the Patriots were tied for 31st in points scored and the 29th-rated offense. 

The offensive woes were not an indictment on the talent of Stevenson but rather the inconsistent quarterback play from Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe. Neither passed for over 2,500 yards, and they had more picks than touchdowns. It is hard to run a successful offense if you cannot pass the ball. 

If Stevenson played the whole season and had some pressure taken off of him with at least adequate quarterback play, this past season likely would not have been viewed as such a disappointment.

This season should be better than last since it is hard to get much worse than what we saw from New England. Whoever the starting quarterback is (Drake Maye or Jacoby Brissett) will be an upgrade over what the Pats rolled with, and Stevenson will have a whole offseason to recover from his ankle injury. 


Fantasy Outlook

Rhamondre Stevenson dynasty owners can breathe a sigh of relief. He is locked up for at least the next four years and should remain a focal point of the Patriots' offense. He is big, a reliable receiver out of the backfield, and should be their workhorse for the foreseeable future. 

Those who do not have him should do their best to trade for him. Even with the extension, you may be able to get him at a discount since he had such an underwhelming third season.

Stevenson is a steal in both re-draft and best-ball leagues, being drafted as the RB 19 (via fantasypros). A player with his kind of ceiling is an absolute steal in rounds five to six. He should not have much competition on the depth chart and can be seen as a safe bet to lead the team in rushing attempts. He should be a high-end RB2 for the 2024 season. 



Rhamondre Stevenson has proven he is capable of leading an NFL backfield. 2022 was a glimpse of what he can do, and there should be no reason why he cannot return to form in the 2024 season. Given his circumstances, I do not believe it is wrong to ignore the 2023 season and look forward to 2024. 

It is generally a good rule to "follow the money," and the money says, "Rhamondre Stevenson is seen as a top NFL back." He will be among New England's top playmakers and should be among the top rushers in the 2024 regular season. Stevenson got paid, and the New England Patriots got their guy. This deal is a win for both sides.


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