The New England Patriots announced the signing of the free agent running back, who joins the team after four seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals. Burkhead represents the seventh addition to the Patriots' roster this offseason.
A former sixth-round pick out of Nebraska, Burkhead proved himself as a third option for the Bengals during his four years with the team. Burkhead rushed for 344 rushing yards and two touchdowns in 2016, despite sharing time with Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard. The running back also added 145 yards receiving out of the backfield.
The 26-year-old posted a breakout game against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 17, rushing for 119 yards on 27 carried to go along with two touchdowns.
With Giovani Bernard sidelined, Burkhead averaged 10.8 touches for 56 yards as the change-of-pace back. Then, in Week 17 with Jeremy Hill also out, Burkhead turned in an epic 29-touch, 144-yard, two-touchdown effort against the Ravens. As a junior at Nebraska, Burkhead rushed for 1,357 yards and scored 17 total touchdowns. Burkhead is similar in skillset to Dion Lewis and James White, though he's bigger. Even though LeGarrette Blount is 40 lbs heavier, Burkhead could assume some of Blount's work on early downs.