FOXBORO (CBS) — The New England Patriots had a busy Friday.
Following days of high-profile names departing Foxboro, the team is reportedly bringing several new players aboard.
Free agent running back Jeremy Hill — formerly of the Cincinnati Bengals — visited Gillette Stadium Friday and just a few hours later it was reported that he will be signing with the team.
Hill is an intriguing player. Just 25 years old, he played a significant role in Cincinnati’s running game for his first three seasons in the NFL. But with the Bengals drafting Jeremy Mixon last year, Hill’s carries dropped significantly.
In the three years prior to last season, he rushed for 2,757 yards on 667 carries for a 4.1-yard average, with 29 rushing touchdowns. He also caught 63 passes for 468 yards and a touchdown. He led the NFL with 11 rushing touchdowns in 2015, and he rushed for 1,124 yards the year prior, which was his rookie season.
The free-agent market has not been especially kind to running backs, so it’s likely that Hill was available for reasonable money. That’s especially true due to his low statistical output last year (37 carries, 116 yards, no touchdowns).
The Patriots currently have Rex Burkhead, James White and Mike Gillislee as their top backs.
It looks like the Patriots are also addressing their pass rush by signing former Atlanta Falcons defensive end Adrian Clayborn to a two-year deal, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports.
Clayborn, who will turn 30 this summer, has played seven seasons in the NFL — four with Tampa Bay, and three with Atlanta. He recorded a career-high 9.5 sacks last season, leading all Falcons in that category, while playing in all 16 games. It’s worth noting that six of those sacks came in one game against Dallas in November. He recorded a single sack in three other games, and a half-sack in one game.
In his career, he has 30 sacks in 81 games played. He missed significant time in 2012 and 2014 due to injuries.
The free agent-grab continued Friday evening with the reported signing of offensive tackle Matt Tobin.
Tobin, 27, has played for the Philadelphia Eagles and Seattle Seahawks. He played in 15 games for the Seahawks last season.