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2021 NFL free agency: James White set to return to Patriots via one-year, $2.5 million deal

Related: Patriots free agency tracker: News, rumors, signings, instant analysis

New England Patriots v New York Jets Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Update 3/24/2021: James White set to return to Patriots via one-year, $2.5 million deal

Additional details about James White’s contract with the Patriots have emerged. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the veteran running back will receive a fully-guaranteed $2.5 million on his one-year deal. White’s salary cap number is the same as that, decreasing New England’s current cap space by $1.6 million after pushing another player off the top-51 list.


Update 3/24/2021: James White reportedly set to return to Patriots via one-year deal

According to ESPN, James White’s return to New England will come via a one-year contract. While the full details of the contract have yet to be reported, the expectation is that it will be relatively cost-effective from the team’s perspective — all while setting White up for another run at free agency in 2022.


Original story 3/24/2021: James White reportedly set to return to Patriots

James White is set to run it back in New England.

After exploring the free agency market, the 29-year-old running back is set to return to the Patriots, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.

The specifics of the contract have yet to be agreed upon, but the expectation is that the deal will be done “soon.”

White has become one of the most revered players in Patriots’ history since his arrival in 2014. His 369 receptions and 3,184 receiving yards trail just Kevin Faulk (431, 3,701) for most all time by a Patriots running back. His next receiving touchdown will put him in a tie for first place for most by a running back in team history.

A three-time Super Bowl Champion and member of the Patriots All-Dynasty Team, White has become a fan favorite since being drafted out of the University of Wisconsin in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. After an underwhelming rookie campaign, White established a role for himself in the Patriots offense, eventually going on a magical postseason run in 2016 that saw him score the game winning touchdown in overtime of Super Bowl 51.

With the signing of White, the Patriots running back room is identical to the group that they ended last season with. Sony Michel and Damien Harris carried the bulk of the load on early downs, while White manned passing downs. Special teams ace Brandon Bolden and second year man J.J. Taylor filled in on a less consistent basis.