While he had an argument to be considered the top running back in free agency, Lewis ultimately signed a contract much smaller than Jerick McKinnon's and landed with a team that already has an established power runner in Derrick Henry. The Titans likely plan to deploy a dual-threat backfield with Lewis handling passing downs and mixing in on early downs while Henry serves as the thumper for early downs and near the goal line. The 27-year-old played double-digit games for the first time since 2011 last season, taking 180 carries for 896 yards (5.0 average) and six touchdowns and catching 32 of 36 targets for 214 yards (5.9 per target) and another three scores. He'll have a hard time replicating the rushing and scoring production if Henry stays healthy, but his role as a pass catcher should increase. Lewis displayed his ability in that department back in 2015 when he caught 36 of 50 targets for 388 yards (7.8 YPT) and two scores in only seven games.
Lewis intends to sign a four-year deal with the Titans, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports.
The Titans land their second former-Patriot of the day, just a few hours after it was announced that Malcolm Butler was heading to Tennessee. Lewis will serve as half of a one-two punch in the backfield alongside Derrick Henry, a very similar role to that of DeMarco Murray over the past two seasons. Last season, Lewis carried a team-high 180 times for 896 yards and six touchdowns and caught 32 passes for 216 yards and another three scores in New England.
Lewis reportedly was frustrated with his usage early last season and again in the Super Bowl, but he did enjoy a busy and productive stretch from Weeks 6 to 16, averaging 14.6 carries for 72.5 yards with eight total touchdowns in 11 games. Prior to the playoffs, he didn't get much work in the passing game, an area where he shined back in 2015 when he had 36 catches in seven games. Coming off the first 16-game season of his career, the 2011 fifth-round pick widely is viewed as the top free agent at his position, with his lack of a big contract in the past suggesting he'll likely go to the highest bidder. New England still has James White and Mike Gillislee under contract, though the latter could end up as a cap casualty.
Lewis carried nine times for 39 yards in Sunday's 41-33 loss to the Eagles in Super Bowl LII.
Lewis logged 21 (of a possible 76) snaps on offense Sunday, while sharing backfield duties with James White (45 snaps) and Rex Burkhead (nine snaps). During the regular season, Lewis carried a team-high 180 times for 896 yards and six TDs, while also catching 32 passes for 216 yards and another three scores in the air. The 27-year-old is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, and while we'd expect that the Patriots would like to keep their leading rusher around, that will only happen on their own terms financially. Lewis' 5.0 yards per carry were indicative of his effective running in 2017, but at five-foot-8 and 195 pounds, durability has been an issue throughout his career.
Lewis rushed for 93 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries and added 40 yards and a touchdown on six receptions during Sunday's 26-6 win over the Jets.
Lewis helped put New England up by three scores in the closing moments of the first half when he took a dump-off into the flat for a five-yard score, his second touchdown of the game. Lewis started the season off sluggish with just one game with at least 80 total yards in his first nine games, but he's heating up at the right time. He's topped the 80-yard mark six times in the seven games since and has five touchdowns in his last three outings. Look for him to keep that going in the playoffs.
|2015||New England Patriots||7||6||49||234||4.8||13||2||0||15|
|2016||New England Patriots||7||5||64||283||4.4||15||0||0||14|
|2017||New England Patriots||16||8||180||896||5.0||44||6||7||48|
|2015||New England Patriots||7||6||36||388||10.8||40||2||1||1||16|
|2016||New England Patriots||7||5||17||94||5.5||16||0||0||0||4|
|2017||New England Patriots||16||8||32||214||6.7||20||3||1||0||11|
|2015||New England Patriots||7||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2016||New England Patriots||7||2||35||17.5||23||0||0|
|2017||New England Patriots||16||23||570||24.8||103||1||2|
|2015||New England Patriots||7||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2016||New England Patriots||7||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2017||New England Patriots||16||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2015||New England Patriots||7||2||1||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2016||New England Patriots||7||1||0||0||1||0||0||1||0|
|2017||New England Patriots||16||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|