BOSTON (CBS) — The New England Patriots are searching for ways to bulk up their depth at running back after losing Dion Lewis in free agency this offseason.
They’re reportedly hosting free agent back Orleans Darkwa, who is coming off a career-year with the New York Giants. The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport was first to report Darkwa’s visit to Foxboro on Monday, calling the 26-year-old “one of the sleepers of the free agent class.”
After rushing for just 287 yards in his first four NFL seasons (three-and-a-half of which came with the Giants) Darkwa ran for 751 yards on 171 attempts last year. He averaged 4.4 yards per carry and found the end zone five times on the ground, adding another 116 yards off 19 receptions. Darkwa had a career game in New York’s season finale, rushing for 154 yards on 20 carries in a win over the Washington Redskins.
An undrafted free agent out of Tulane in 2014, Darkwa also has some experience on special teams, so you can see why he appeals to Bill Belichick. The Patriots currently have James White, Rex Burkhead, Jeremy Hill, Brandon Bolden, and Mike Gillislee under contract for the 2018 season.