When LeGarrette Blount left for Pittsburgh in free agency, it meant one less person in the New England Patriots backfield. More importantly for Stevan Ridley, it signified an opportunity to regain the role of early down back and in doing so, securing his position in New England long term. The job is his to lose. One of the major factors in determining if a multiyear deal is done or not, according to NFL Media’s Albert Breer, will be Ridley's ability to hold on to the ball:
“A motivated Ridley is a little lighter and faster this offseason and is focusing on fixing his fumbling woes."
Fixing those woes will certainly be among Ridley’s list of camp priorities. He is entering the final year of his rookie contract and so far there has been zero talk of negotiations between his camp and the Patriots front office. Belichek has him right where he wants him; motivated to succeed, as Breer reports:
“That's exactly where Belichick wants Ridley: highly motivated as the lead back entering a make-or-break season.”
With so much riding on a successful season for Ridley, expect him to do all he can to impress Belichek and, not only work his way out of the doghouse, but also work himself into a long term deal.Follow @jasonbrightwell