Patriots re-sign running back James White to 1-year deal

BOSTON (AP) — The Patriots have re-signed running back James White, bringing back a key veteran cog of their offense.

The deal is for one year and according to reports will pay him a guaranteed $2.5 million, returning White to New England for his eighth season.

The Patriots also announced Thursday that they have retained the exclusive rights to fullback Jakob Johnson, a native of Germany who originally was signed by the team in 2019 as part of the league’s International Pathway Program.

The program was instituted in 2017, with the aim to provide international athletes the opportunity to compete at the NFL level, improve their skills, and ultimately earn spots on NFL rosters.

Johnson appeared in all 16 games in 2020 with 11 starts and is expected to compete with Dan Vitale for the starting fullback role this season.

White has been New England’s go-to pass catcher out of the backfield since 2015, but saw his numbers dip this past season after he returned to the field following the death of his father in a car accident. His 49 catches for 375 yards and one touchdown were all his fewest since 2017.

White’s return leaves the Patriots with a well-stocked group of running backs that also includes Sony Michel and Damien Harris.

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