Patriots Reportedly Have Interest in Leonard Fournette, Chris Carson

Patriots reportedly eyeing two top RBs in free agency originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Might as well overhaul all of the skill positions, right?

The New England Patriots already have agreed to deals with two tight ends (Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry) and a pair of wide receivers (Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne) in 2021 free agency. Now, it appears their sights are set on a running back.

The Patriots have "expressed strong interest" in former Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette and have "been in contact with" ex-Seattle Seahawks RB Chris Carson, NFL Media's Mike Giardi reports.

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New England reportedly has stiff competition for Fournette: Ex-Patriots QB Tom Brady is trying to convince the 26-year-old to run it back in Tampa Bay after winning a Super Bowl, while the Seahawks also are strong suitors for Carson, according to Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer.

The Bucs reportedly have inquired about pending Patriots free agent James White, however, so if Brady can reunite with his pass-catching back in New England, perhaps Fournette will land elsewhere.

The former Jacksonville Jaguars star didn't contribute much during the 2020 regular season in Tampa Bay (367 rushing yards, six rushing touchdowns) but went off in the postseason, tallying 448 total yards and four touchdowns over four games to help the Bucs win a Super Bowl title.

Carson is coming off a down year in Seattle in which he missed four games due to a foot injury and rushed for just 681 yards. But the 26-year-old posted back-to-back seasons of 1,100-plus rushing yards in 2018 and 2019 and would be a great complement to Sony Michel atop the Patriots' running back depth chart.

Giardi noted New England seems "intent" on adding at least one running back, which suggests that White may not return -- and that Bill Belichick is loading up to improve an offense that ranked 27th in the NFL in scoring last season.

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