NFL teams interested in Ezekiel Elliott would reportedly prefer to pay him the “bare minimum”.
Elliott was released by the Dallas Cowboys earlier in the offseason.
After 7 years as the starting running back for the Dallas Cowboys, Ezekiel Elliott finds himself looking for a new team for the first time in his NFL career.
So far, it doesn’t seem to be going all that well.
He has visited the New England Patriots, who have no depth at the position. The Cowboys are also reportedly interested in bringing him back.
It turns out that even that the teams that are interested, aren’t too interested in paying Zeke very much.
According to the Boston Sports Journal’s Mike Giardi, teams would prefer to pay Elliott “the bare minimum” and one team even wants to wait until after Week 1 to sign him.
"The teams interested in his services would prefer to pay the bare minimum, including one, I’m told, that wants to sign the veteran RB post-week 1 so the contract is not guaranteed." On Zeke and the #Patriots backfieldhttps://t.co/4oZFDvyyXQ
— Mike Giardi (@MikeGiardi) August 11, 2023
It’s a pretty big fall for Zeke.
Last season, Ezekiel Elliott was one of the highest-paid running backs in the NFL, making $15 million per year. Now he could have to settle for the veteran’s minimum just to get a roster spot somewhere in 2023.
It’s easy to see why teams could be a bit hesitant to invest in the former Cowboys running back. Last season he was far from his best in spite of the Cowboys continuing to force him into a role in their offense.
Zeke averaged an extremely inefficient 3.8 yards per attempt last season while still being given 231 carries. He was clearly the 2nd best running back on his own team as Tony Pollard was much more effective with his touches.
Now he’ll be a backup wherever he goes next and there just isn’t much of a market for backups that cost more than the minimum.
There are really only so many teams even really looking for a backup at this point in the offseason.
Right now, his best bet is probably just to keep waiting and see how things turn out at the position around the NFL in case a better opportunity arises.
Otherwise, Ezekiel Elliott may just have to settle for being a low-paid backup if he wants to keep his career going.