Patriots Star Says He’s ‘Pretty Close’ to Signing Long-Awaited Contract Extension

New England Patriots running back Rhamondre Stevenson opened up on his ongoing contract talks and improving his fitness this offseason.

FOXBORO, Mass. — The New England Patriots prioritized paying their own this offseason.

Hunter Henry, Mike Onwenu, Josh Uche, and Kyle Dugger all got new deals during free agency. Christian Barmore and David Andrews both received extensions preventing them from playing in contract years.

But what about Rhamondre Stevenson, arguably the Patriots’ best offensive player? Well, a new deal might be just around the corner.

Rhamondre Stevenson, Jerod Mayo Open Up on Patriots Contract Talks

Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo was asked about a possible Stevenson extension during a pre-practice news conference on Monday.

“We’ll see,” Mayo said of Stevenson, who has one year left on his rookie contract. “I will say this about Rhamondre: 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 was asked about his contract situation after Monday’s mandatory minicamp practice.

“Right now I’m just trying to get the deal done and get it locked in with the extension,” Stevenson said. “So we can see how that goes.”

But does he feel like a deal is close?

“Yeah, it’s pretty close,” Stevenson said.

Stevenson knows the current state of the running back market. And, as a 26-year-old who’s earned just over $3 million since entering the NFL, he knows he might get just one shot at making life-changing money.

“It’s hard not to think about,” Stevenson said. “This is our career, our life, our future. So, it’s hard not to think about. But just staying disciplined, just coming out here working every day, as long as you do that, everything else should come with it.”

Whether Stevenson eventually puts pen to paper remains to be seen. However, from his offseason training to his early on-field performance, Stevenson looks like a man on a mission.

Stevenson Focused on Fitness This Offseason

Stevenson appeared noticeably leaner during OTA practices open to reporters. While speaking with reporters Monday, Mayo said he thought the fourth-year back lost weight.

“Yeah, a little bit. A little bit,” Mayo said. “And I think that bodes well for him and his speed and those long runs we expect to see in the fall.”

When asked the same question, Stevenson said he’s roughly the same weight but now carries more muscle and less fat than a year ago.

“I still weigh the same amount, but it’s just better weight,” he said. “I got my body fat down, so it’s just better weight. Just a little stricter diet. Nothing too crazy … not eating super late at night, less snacking, things like that.”

Stevenson was excellent for the Patriots in 2022 and 2023 but wore down and suffered injuries at the end of both campaigns. He hopes his improved fitness will help him stay fresh throughout a 17-game schedule.

“Just to make sure my body is ready for the whole season,” Stevenson said. “It’s a long season. I’ve seen what that can get like, so I tried to prepare myself.”

KEEP READING: Patriots Minicamp Practice Report: Drake Maye Shows Out

Stevenson posted 1,461 all-purpose yards and six touchdowns in 17 games in 2022, but his injuries — and the presence of Ezekiel Elliott — limited him to just 857 all-purpose yards and four TDs in 12 games last season. In 2024, he’ll share carries with newcomer Antonio Gibson, who should take some of the passing-down work off Stevenson’s plate.

We gave Stevenson the No. 18 spot in our updated NFL running back rankings.

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