The Patriots reached an agreement on a three-year extension with White on Tuesday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. White has developed into a fairly reliable pass-catching back, corralling 100 of 140 passes for 961 yards and nine touchdowns over the past two seasons. He capped the latter campaign with the most impactful performance of his three-year career: a Super Bowl record 14 receptions and three total touchdowns in February's comeback victory against the Falcons. The Patriots will be sporting some different bodies out of the backfield in 2017, as Rex Burkhead was locked up in March, Mike Gillislee received an offer sheet from the team Tuesday, and LeGarrette Blount remains on the market. No matter who's getting the rock on a weekly basis, White is expected to serve primarily as a receiver, along with Dion Lewis, who has missed 18 regular-season games combined the last two seasons.
White gained 29 yards on six rushes and hauled in 14 of 16 targets for 110 yards in the Patriots' 34-28 Super Bow LI overtime victory over the Falcons. He also tallied a rushing two-point conversion on a direct snap. White was the unofficial MVP of the Patriots' pass catchers, turning into Tom Brady's favorite target during the Patriots' record-setting second-half comeback. With the Falcons expecting the pass after building a 25-point lead by early in the third quarter, White was frequently open underneath and utilized his nifty after-the-catch skills to gain meaningful yardage on several receptions. He came through at the most important junctures as well, tallying a key two-point conversion off a direct snap with 5:56 remaining in the fourth quarter to bring New England within eight, and then scoring from one yard out with 57 seconds remaining to close New England's deficit to 28-26. A subsequent game-tying two-point conversion reception by Danny Amendola set up overtime, allowing White the opportunity to provide the game-clinching heroics with a gritty two-yard touchdown run. It was a career effort for the third-year pro from Wisconsin on the biggest stage possible, capping a season in which he set high-water marks in both rushing and receiving yardage.
White was on the field for a season-low 12 snaps (out of a possible 69) in Saturday's 34-16 win over the Texans, ESPN's Mike Reiss reports. Meanwhile, Dion Lewis logged 33 snaps and 13 carries, while power back LeGarrette Blount recorded eight rushes on 27 snaps. Though White did not run the ball in Saturday's contest, he did manage to make a splash despite the limited opportunities, by hauling in a 19-yard TD catch. Looking ahead to next week's AFC Championship game, White figures to factor in some in the Patriots' passing attack, but at this stage, he's clearly behind both Lewis and Blount in the team's RB pecking order.
White saw action on 21 of a possible 67 snaps on offense in Sunday's 35-14 win over the Dolphins, carrying twice for nine yards and catching all four of his targets for 21 yards in the process. Heading into the playoffs, LeGarrette Blount is entrenched as the Patriots' top power back, while White and Dion Lewis are on hand to provide reliable backfield support in their pass-catching/change-of-pace roles. White finishes up the regular season with 39 carries for 166 yards to go along with 60 catches (on 86 targets) for 551 yards and five TDs over 16 contests.
White ran once for 14 yards and caught three of four targets for 32 yards and a TD, while seeing action on 19 of 75 snaps on offense in Saturday's 41-3 win over the Jets. Meanwhile, Dion Lewis ran 16 times for 52 yards and caught one pass for five yards on 27 snaps, while LeGarrette Blount turned his 30 snaps into a 20/50/2 stat line. The Patriots need to beat Miami in Week 17 in order to cement the No. 1 playoff seed in the AFC, so we'd expect the trio to split work in a similar fashion next weekend.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
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