Jeremy Hill just signed with the New England Patriots, and the running back has an opportunity to seize and early-down role in the wake of the departure of Dion Lewis. But the 25-year-old is no guarantee to secure a spot on the 53-man roster.
The details of Hill's one-year contract with the Patriots have been released, as reported by Ben Volin of the Boston Globe on Sunday. Officially, Hill's deal is for one year and $1.5 million with a cap hit of $1.33 million. But the only guaranteed part of Hill's deal is his $150,000 signing bonus.
Hill would be due a $1 million base salary in 2018, plus $300,000 in per-game roster bonuses ($18,750 each). He's also likely to bag his $50,000 workout bonus when he shows up for offseason workouts. In total, he's earned over $3.75 million in his four-year career.
Will He Make The Team?
So if Hill doesn't end up making the Patriots' 53-man roster, he would cost the team, at most, $200,000. And if he does make the team and can rekindle the magic of his rookie season - he averaged 5.1 yards per carry with nine touchdowns in 2014 - he'd represent great value for Bill Belichick. But he certainly has to earn his spot; Hill fell out of favor in Cincinnati and hasn't quite looked like the same runner since his first year.
You can realistically expect the Patriots to draft a running back as well, as they create a training camp competition for early-down duties. James White is likely locked in as the receiving back, which leaves the re-signed Rex Burkhead as the leader in the clubhouse to take handoffs from Tom Brady. Mike Gillislee is also still on the roster as of Monday. So with Hill now in the fold, the running back group for the Patriots could be surprisingly crowded come summertime.
-- By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].
-- Salary information via Spotrac