New lease on the Rham: Patriots extend Rhamondre Stevenson

axx

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So let me guess, the deal is really 2/18? Which is still a lot for an RB, but eh.
 
Oct 12, 2023
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Don’t really understand it and I can’t imagine he will be worth it over the course of the deal but they’re certainly not hurting for cash.
 

IdiotKicker

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I despise chewing up cap space on RBs. Last year was a little underwhelming for Rham, but it was such a mess on offense (and particularly the line) that I'm willing to say that it probably wasn't all his fault for his underperformance. But given the current distribution of RB contracts, I would have liked to see this closer to 18m over 3 years on the low end or 28m over 4 years on the high end. First re-signing all offseason that I've been kind of meh on.
 

Mystic Merlin

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If it’s frontloaded the size of the contract isn’t a problem despite the sticker price because it’s not a top of market guarantee and they’ve got a fuckton of cap space. It’s an overpay, but it’s unlikely to matter.
 

radsoxfan

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Well if you're going to overpay a position 20%, RB is the place to do it. It's not all that much money and I agree unlikely to matter.
 

katnado

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That's an overpay for a upper/mid level running back, but the guaranteed money is pretty cheap and shouldn't hurt much when he's gone in two years. Plus like others have said. Tons of cap space
 

Rico Guapo

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Probably an overpay but they have the cap room and this is another example of Mayo/Wolf rewarding a player the team has drafted and developed. I have to imagine the latter goes over well with the other guys in the locker room particularly younger players looking to get extended themselves.
 

Ed Hillel

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If it's the Rham of every year but last year, it's a fine deal. If not, it's probably a bit too much, but whatever.
 

Jinhocho

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I think they could have easily moved on and not lost much, so definite overpay but he is a decent back
 

dynomite

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Seems like we're all pretty much in agreement here.
Agreed with everyone. Trying to give the FO the benefit of the doubt here despite being confused. They have the money and know the player, and didn't draft an RB this year.

Still, I'm not exactly sure why for a rebuilding team it was a priority to lock up extra years of a good-not-great RB who has only broken 1,000 APY one time in his 1st three seasons. To use an extreme comparison, his recent backfield mate Zeke had ~2,000 APY in two of his first three seasons -- obviously behind a VERY different offensive line, etc. etc.

Am I missing something?
 

mauf

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I haven’t seen a projection, but I assume the tag number for RBs will be higher in 2025 following the spate of (relatively) big contracts this offseason. Even so, an extra $14M in guarantees (assuming this deal overrides the last year of his rookie deal) is a steep price for control in 2025. I’ll defer judgment on the contract until we see the structural details. Being able to move on after 2025 without too much pain is critical.
 

Gash Prex

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My question is - why wouldn’t they? This isn’t a deal that will tie up the cap or prevent them going after a free agent. The Pats need good, productive players moving forward - especially with a new system and a rookie QB.

this isn’t a title team where squeezing every dollar to allow them to sign a vet matters
 

Ralphwiggum

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I was as big a fan as anyone of this guy two years ago, but thought he pretty much sucked last year and while obviously the offense was just hideous across the board, to me he didn't seem like the same player as the year before. I hope he has a bounce back year. But yeah, unlikely to matter much either way.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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A lot of the comments here directionally remind me of the thread about the Chris Sale contract extension: a.) Sale is a great pitcher, b.) that seems like a lot of money and is probably an overpay, and c.) WTF, we have plenty of money and see 'a' above.

There are key differences, of course -- the Sale deal was longer and and for a bigger slice of the salary cap, and SP is undeniably a more important spot than RB.

Which is to say, much as I really appreciate Rhamondre -- both how talented he is and how hard he plays -- paying him to the top of the RB payscale feels like something I'd have preferred they didn't do. As noted above, however, it will hurt less if the contract is front-loaded.
 

NortheasternPJ

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My question is - why wouldn’t they? This isn’t a deal that will tie up the cap or prevent them going after a free agent. The Pats need good, productive players moving forward - especially with a new system and a rookie QB.

this isn’t a title team where squeezing every dollar to allow them to sign a vet matters
I agree. I don’t get it. The money is minimal, especially over 4 years. I don’t get why everyone is so concerned about maximizing value. Let’s carry $200m in free ageny into 2026 then we can bitch about how they’re overpaying players and only won 3 games!
 

BigSoxFan

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I like seeing the players paid in the NFL, the Pats can afford this. He is a good guy who busts his ass.
Yes, I’m more happy for Rham than I am for the Pats. This is life changing money for him and hopefully he gives us a couple really good seasons. The RB position is such a grind that I’m happy when any of them get paid.
 

Caspir

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I give everyone on offense a pass for last year under the, “Mac Jones is fucking terrible,” axiom. Doesn’t matter if it’s a slight overpay. They have way more money than other teams and are showing players that they pay their guys. Hope he has a nice bounce back year with Maye.
 

Jake Peavy's Demons

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Will Sam Bam Cunningham finally be usurped by a new leader in all-time rushing leader in yards? Lol. DodgeRham needs 3,188 yards.
 

joe dokes

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Given the new personnel at several positions, there's probably some value in having a not-new not-sucky player in at least one important position.
 

BaseballJones

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I don't like spending this kind of money for a good, but not great, RB. He's solid. Like having him on the team. Happy to feed him the ball. Not happy with them paying that kind of dough.

But...as others have said, they have the money and this signing won't really hurt them, and it's better that he's on the team than that he's not. So...okay I guess.
 
Oct 12, 2023
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My question is - why wouldn’t they? This isn’t a deal that will tie up the cap or prevent them going after a free agent. The Pats need good, productive players moving forward - especially with a new system and a rookie QB.

this isn’t a title team where squeezing every dollar to allow them to sign a vet matters
Wasn’t the narrative from a lot of fans this year that they shouldn’t overpay for veterans (e.g. Ridley or Jonah Williams) because they can roll over the cap space?

Stevenson is a solid enough player at a completely fungible (unless you’re truly elite like McCaffrey) position. Seems like they could get 80% of the production for 25% of the cost (with a rookie) and use this money to overpay for someone at a more valuable position

He’s a useful player and it’s a small chunk of their cap, it just seems weird for a team that seems hesitant to overextend themselves or sign multi year deals (other than Barmore and Onwenu)
 

Ralphwiggum

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He’s a useful player and it’s a small chunk of their cap, it just seems weird for a team that seems hesitant to overextend themselves or sign multi year deals (other than Barmore and Onwenu)
But Barmore and Onwenu were extended by the new guys, along with Rham, right? Seems to me that the new regime might approach extensions like this differently than the front office did when BB was calling the shots. I’m not saying its better or worse or one way is right and the other is wrong, just that comparisons to what they did under BB are probably not all that relevant.
 

rodderick

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I don't think his style is a great fit for the Van Pelt offense, which is why I'd rather have used this year to determine whether he can still produce at a high level before giving him the deal. Don't see a scenario in which a great 2024 would have put his market way beyond this price either.
 

Jimbodandy

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Well if you're going to overpay a position 20%, RB is the place to do it. It's not all that much money and I agree unlikely to matter.
This is the right answer.

The braintrust overpaying a guy by a couple of million per year doesn't hamstring anything. Making the wrong call on some guy making actual big dollars is a problem. Nothing to see here.
 

Toe Nash

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My question is - why wouldn’t they? This isn’t a deal that will tie up the cap or prevent them going after a free agent. The Pats need good, productive players moving forward - especially with a new system and a rookie QB.

this isn’t a title team where squeezing every dollar to allow them to sign a vet matters
Because he's not likely to be a good, productive player any more, there's not much upside and it says bad things about their player evaluation? I think this is a pretty bad signing. He stopped breaking tackles last year and looked slow regardless of the line's troubles.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Feels like they’ve spent a lot of money to largely bring back the same guys as last year, I guess I am ok with this deal on its own but in conjunction with all the others, I’m not really sure this team is any better than the one that stunk last year, nor much of an infusion of talent despite the epic amounts of cap space. Hopefully, it was all Mac.
 
Oct 12, 2023
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This is the right answer.

The braintrust overpaying a guy by a couple of million per year doesn't hamstring anything. Making the wrong call on some guy making actual big dollars is a problem. Nothing to see here.
Isn’t the counter to this that guys who are making “big dollars” tend to be at impactful/hard to find positions and therefore you need to be able to take shots and absorb the risk of adding them to your team? Harder to do when you’re overpaying a guy at a very low value position

In other words, if you’re going to risk flushing 20M down the toilet, wouldn’t you rather do it by overpaying for a LT or WR? Conversely, if your same 20M works out to be money well spent, wouldn’t you get more bang for your buck by that using it to “overpay” for a premium position than getting fair value for a decent RB?

In the end it doesn’t matter since they have a ridiculous amount of cap space. But it’s a curious strategy and seems to run counter to their approach to 2024 FA where they clearly wanted to avoid overpaying to bring in guys who would have been meaningful upgrades to weak spots on the roster

I like Stevenson, but I don’t see how they couldn’t (fairly easily) find a guy to give them similar production at a much lower price tag
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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I'm all on board for this. I know running backs arebt usually where you wabt to invest, but I consider last season a lost season for anyone on that abortion of an offense.

AVP offenses need experienced, instinctive backs. I'd say that the position for the Pats is less fungible than with a lot of other teams. AVP schemes can be RPO and PA heavy, and you need a back with some gravity to make that work.

The preference for a RB in an outside zone scheme is usually a balanced back - and I consider Rham a balanced back. It's not like they can just use a quick back or a power back to run the outside zone scheme. They need a back to make a read over the tackle and then either (A) have enough speed to stretch the field (B) enough power to lower the shoulder and fall forward or (C) enough agility/footwork to make the inside cutback.

Moreover, defenses have really adjusted to this scheme over the last 2 or so years - quicker players to flood the outside/recover on a PA, 5 linemen on the line, etc - and now its on offenses to readjust. You're seeing things like more trap runs up the middle, which requires a back to be able to hit a hole quick and lower their shoulder into the 2nd level of a defense. Again, those are things Rham is good at.

I'm bullish on Rham having a great season this year. If he does, while RB isn't a sexy thing to spend money on anymore, I think his contract ends up looking reasonable by it's end.
 

SMU_Sox

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I'm all on board for this. I know running backs arebt usually where you wabt to invest, but I consider last season a lost season for anyone on that abortion of an offense.

AVP offenses need experienced, instinctive backs. I'd say that the position for the Pats is less fungible than with a lot of other teams. AVP schemes can be RPO and PA heavy, and you need a back with some gravity to make that work.

The preference for a RB in an outside zone scheme is usually a balanced back - and I consider Rham a balanced back. It's not like they can just use a quick back or a power back to run the outside zone scheme. They need a back to make a read over the tackle and then either (A) have enough speed to stretch the field (B) enough power to lower the shoulder and fall forward or (C) enough agility/footwork to make the inside cutback.

Moreover, defenses have really adjusted to this scheme over the last 2 or so years - quicker players to flood the outside/recover on a PA, 5 linemen on the line, etc - and now its on offenses to readjust. You're seeing things like more trap runs up the middle, which requires a back to be able to hit a hole quick and lower their shoulder into the 2nd level of a defense. Again, those are things Rham is good at.

I'm bullish on Rham having a great season this year. If he does, while RB isn't a sexy thing to spend money on anymore, I think his contract ends up looking reasonable by it's end.
Great post man. I don't have much to add but wanted to say I appreciated and enjoyed reading this!
 
Oct 12, 2023
802
I'm all on board for this. I know running backs arebt usually where you wabt to invest, but I consider last season a lost season for anyone on that abortion of an offense.

AVP offenses need experienced, instinctive backs. I'd say that the position for the Pats is less fungible than with a lot of other teams. AVP schemes can be RPO and PA heavy, and you need a back with some gravity to make that work.

The preference for a RB in an outside zone scheme is usually a balanced back - and I consider Rham a balanced back. It's not like they can just use a quick back or a power back to run the outside zone scheme. They need a back to make a read over the tackle and then either (A) have enough speed to stretch the field (B) enough power to lower the shoulder and fall forward or (C) enough agility/footwork to make the inside cutback.

Moreover, defenses have really adjusted to this scheme over the last 2 or so years - quicker players to flood the outside/recover on a PA, 5 linemen on the line, etc - and now its on offenses to readjust. You're seeing things like more trap runs up the middle, which requires a back to be able to hit a hole quick and lower their shoulder into the 2nd level of a defense. Again, those are things Rham is good at.

I'm bullish on Rham having a great season this year. If he does, while RB isn't a sexy thing to spend money on anymore, I think his contract ends up looking reasonable by it's end.
What’s the basis of “AVP offenses need experienced RB”

He’s basically had high end (Hunt) to elite talent (Chubb) except for last year when Jerome Ford (neither especially good nor experienced) was adequate.

I would think that if a “experienced” back was necessary, Ford would have been problematic but the offense more or less functioned fine without Chubb (or at least, as fine as an offense can be with that kind of talent downgrade)

Not disputing the claim, but AVP had arguably a top 3 RB/run blocking OL in Cleveland for most of his time there and didn’t call the plays. I don’t know we can really say how the offense will function with a solid RB (Stevenson) vs an unknown, especially with the OL being so questionable/bad.