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NFL free agency 2023: Patriots sign running back James Robinson to reported two-year pact

James Robinson went from the Jaguars to the Jets via trade in October.

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

The initial night of the 2023 NFL year brought backfield depth for the New England Patriots.

The organization agreed to terms with James Robinson on a two-year contract worth a maximum value of $8 million, as first reported by ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

Robinson, 24, entered the league with the Jacksonville Jaguars as an undrafted free agent in 2020. All-Rookie honors from the Pro Football Writers of America followed for the Illinois State product, who became the fourth undrafted running back to ever eclipse the 1,000-yard mark on the ground in his first season.

The 5-foot-9, 219-pound Robinson logged 1,070 rushing yards, 344 receiving yards and 10 total touchdowns through 289 offensive touches along the way. A torn Achilles arrived 989 scrimmage yards and eight scores into his sophomore campaign, however, before Travis Etienne’s 2022 emergence saw him traded to the New York Jets in exchange for a conditional sixth-round pick last October.

Robinson’s stay in East Rutherford spanned just four appearances, including AFC East matchups with the Patriots both at MetLife Stadium and Gillette Stadium. He was not tendered as a restricted free agent this March.

A 32-game starter, Robinson has averaged 4.4 yards per carry through 514 carries while also accounting for 91 career receptions. He now joins a depth chart featuring Rhamondre Stevenson, Pierre Strong Jr., Kevin Harris, J.J. Taylor and Ty Montgomery under contract.

Damien Harris, who led New England in rushing both in 2020 and 2021, officially stepped into unrestricted free agency at 4 p.m. ET Wednesday.


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