The New England Patriots inked the running back James White to a three-year contract extension that will totally lock him up to the professional American football team through 2020 season of National Football League, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
The 25-year-old James White, who scored the game-winning touchdown for the New England Patriots in overtime of Super Bowl LI, completed a total of 717 yards and five touchdowns from tussle while appearing in all 16 games last season.
A significant slice of that production came through the air, as the University of Wisconsin-Madison product has served in a pivotal receiving role out of the New England Patriots’ backfield ever since making his NFL debut dating back in 2014.
James White, who was with the New England Patriots since he entered the league through 2014 NFL Draft, recorded 60 receptions for 551 yards and only 39 carries for 166 yards in 2016 NFL season. In his professional American football career, White has gathered 105 catches compared to 70 rushing attempts.
“James White is like my oldest son,” New England Patriots veteran star quarterback Tom Brady said after the Super Bowl 51. “He just does everything right and you can never get mad at him. If he doesn’t make the play, he feels worse about it than you do. He’s just the best teammate.”
White, who is now locked into a long-term contract to stay in New England, should continue to serve in his all-around role behind quarterback Tom Brady.
The third-year running back White who was inactive for the 2014 NFL Super Bowl, had his best matchup of the season in the Patriots’ championship-clinching comeback against Atlanta Falcons, catching a record 14 passes for 110 yards and a touchdown and rushing for 29 yards and a couple of more touchdowns, including the winner in overtime.
A fourth-round pick in 2014 NFL Draft, he has been far more versatile catching the ball than running for it, with 105 catches for 984 yards and nine touchdowns, while rushing for just 260 yards on 3.7 per carry.
The New England Patriots reportedly signed restricted free agent running back Mike Gillislee to a two-year, $6.4 million contract deal. The Buffalo Bills retain the right to match the aforementioned offer, but the Patriots “don’t believe” the former will do so. If Buffalo fails to match, the Patriots will have two new running backs in Gillislee and Rex Burkhead and likely won’t be bringing back LeGarrette Blount or signing the veteran rusher Adrian Peterson.
The Pats also agreed to sign cornerback Malcolm Butler to his restricted free agent tender.