Between 2015 and 2017, Dion Lewis was a core member of the New England Patriots’ offense: an electric runner between the tackles and a threat out of the backfield as a pass catcher, the former fifth-round draft pick made a name for himself after a forgettable and injury-dominated first four years in the NFL. Along the way, Lewis not only earned himself a Super Bowl ring but also a four-year, $20.0 million contract by the Tennessee Titans.
Even though everything turned out well for Lewis, it appears as if his departure from New England left a bitter taste in his mouth. “Hell yeah it’s personal,” the 28-year old told NFL Network’s Mike Giardi following yesterday’s game versus his former team. Lewis registered a combined 22 touches for 68 yards during the Titans’ decisive 34-10 victory. “That’s what happens when you go cheap. You get your ass kicked.”
Lewis led the Patriots with 896 rushing yards and 1,110 yards from scrimmage during the 2017 regular season and scored a team-high nine touchdowns. Despite his productivity, however, the team apparently did not value the unrestricted free agent at a satisfactory level. As a result, Lewis joined a Titans team led by two former members of the Patriots organization: head coach Mike Vrabel and general manager Jon Robinson.
Tennessee had more financial wiggle room entering free agency — $49.6 million compared to New England’s $16.6 million — and was therefore able to easily fit Lewis’ contract under the salary cap. However, the move was not apparently not well received by the running back, who also told Giardi that he “didn’t have to prove anything” before some more harsh words directed towards a Patriots team that now sits at 7-3 heading into its bye week.
“I just had to let our team know that these guys are beatable,” Lewis said after the game. “I know those guys. I know that if you are physical with them and let them have it, they will fold.” New England indeed folded yesterday en route to a 24-point defeat — all while Lewis got his revenge against the team that played an important role in him getting his free agency contract to begin with.