A former Plano Senior High School standout is returning to the state.
The Nebraska product’s stay in New England spanned 1,026 rushing yards, 856 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns on 349 offensive touches. Burkhead played 523 snaps on special teams along the way, excluding playoffs, registering 11 tackles and one blocked punt.
“He plays in the kicking game, has been productive offensively, blocking, picking up the blitz, running, catching — whatever we ask him to do,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said of Burkhead last November. “He’s been very, very good and very productive for us. I’m glad we have him. He’s a very versatile player.”
Suffering a season-ending knee injury versus Houston, Burkhead underwent surgery in December. The 5-foot-10, 215-pound Super Bowl LIII champion had been an unrestricted free agent since the new league year opened in March.
Burkhead now becomes the 14th ex-Patriot on general manager Nick Caserio’s Texans roster. On the offensive side of the ball, that list includes wide receivers Brandin Cooks and Donte Moncrief, tight ends Ryan Izzo and Paul Quessenberry, plus linemen Marcus Cannon, Hjalte Froholdt, Jordan Steckler and Cole Toner. The familiarity continues on the defensive side of the ball with linebackers Derek Rivers and Kamu Grugier-Hill, cornerback Keion Crossen, as well as safeties Terrence Brooks and A.J. Moore Jr.
The Patriots enter June with a backfield depth chart featuring Damien Harris, Sony Michel, James White, Brandon Bolden, J.J. Taylor, Tyler Gaffney and rookie fourth-round draft arrival Rhamondre Stevenson out of Oklahoma.