It Is Very Unlikely Ezekiel Elliott Will Get All Of The Potential $6 Million In His Contract

Patriots running back Ezekiel Elliott

Getty Image / Andy Lyons

Ezekiel Elliott’s contract with the New England Patriots is largely incentive based.

Elliott will have a hard time reaching some of those incentives based on recent performances.

On Monday, football fans finally learned where two of the most high-profile free agents in the NFL would be playing during the coming season and they both headed to the AFC East.

Dalvin Cook headed to the New York Jets while Ezekiel Elliott joined the New England Patriots.

The initial reports on Elliott’s deal with the Patriots said it could be worth up to $6 million, but didn’t outline what the running back would have to do to get the maximum out of the deal.

Today, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio revealed the terms of Elliott’s contract with the Patriots.

The money we know Elliott will be getting is a $600K signing bonus and $1 million in base salary. That base salary become $1.55 million as long as he doesn’t suffer a season-ending injury before the start of the regular season.

From there, Elliott has a whole lot of incentives to reach to get the full value of the deal.

The first set of incentives is pretty easy to reach. He gets $50K for every game that he is on the Patriots’ active roster for a total of $850K if he’s on the roster for every regular season game.

From there they get tougher.

He has $1.5 million dollars in incentives based on yardage. He gets $300K if he hits 975 yards from scrimmage. Then it’s another $300K for 1100 yards. The same is true if he reaches 1225, 1350, and 1475 yards.

He had 968 yards from scrimmage last season and 1287 the year before.

The next set of incentives is based on his playing time and could be worth a total of $1.5 million. He’ll get $300K if he plays 50 percent of the teams offensive snaps and then gets another $300K if he hits 55, 60, 65, and 70 percent.

He played 55 percent last season and 66 percent the year before.

Elliott’s numbers last season came as part of a true committee for the Dallas Cowboys. That isn’t what he’s going to be a part of with the New England Patriots.

Rhamondre Stevenson is still the team’s starting running back and should be getting more than half of the team’s snaps. Last season he played 66 percent of the team’s offensive snaps.

With Elliott likely seeing a smaller role in New England, it will be just about impossible for him to reach the upper range of the yardage and snap count incentives unless Stevenson suffers an injury.

As it is, it might be tough for him to reach even the bottom end of those incentives.

Even if Elliott brings his receiving yardage total back up to 200 yards, that would still mean he needs 775 rushing yards to reach the first yardage incentive. He would need 155 carries to reach that mark if he averaged 5 yards per carry.

Last season he averaged 3.8. The year before he was at 4.2.

Ezekiel Elliott secured himself another chance to compete for a role in the NFL with the contract he signed in New England, but it doesn’t seem all that likely he’ll be getting close to the $6 million the deal could potentially be worth.