Currently, the New England Patriots have seven running backs on their roster. Among them are Brandon Bolden, Rex Burkhead, Mike Gillislee, Jeremy Hill, James White, and rookies Sony Michel and Ralph Webb. The Patriots took Michel with the 31st overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft while they signed Webb as an undrafted free agent out of Vanderbilt. The Patriots also signed Hill from the free-agent pool, giving him a one-year deal worth $1.5 million. According to Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk, the Patriots might carry four or five rushers in the regular season, with Burkhead, White and Michel all assured of places in the 53-man roster.

The remaining rushers will have to fight it out for remaining roster spots. According to Mike Reiss of ESPN, Gillislee is in danger of losing his roster spot if he performs poorly in training camp and in the preseason.

Gillislee’s future with Patriots in doubt

Last season, the Patriots traded a fifth-round pick to the Buffalo Bills to acquire Gillislee as a restricted free agent. The Patriots then signed him to a two-year deal worth $6.4 million. Gillislee was the Patriots’ main rusher for the first half of the season before he lost the top spot in the depth chart to Dion Lewis. In nine regular-season games last season, Gillislee carried the ball 104 times for 383 yards and five touchdowns. Gillislee was also a healthy scratch for all three postseason contests.

Reiss said the Patriots could cut Gillislee with no dead money on the salary cap. Aside from the Patriots, Gillislee also played for the Buffalo Bills and the Miami Dolphins. In 32 games, Gillislee ran the ball 258 times for 1,248 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Michel to replace Lewis

The Patriots were expected to take a quarterback in the first and second rounds, but they settled for offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn at No.

23, Michel at No. 31, and cornerback Duke Dawson in the second round. Michel is seen as a replacement for Lewis, who left the Patriots and signed a four-year, $19.8 million contract with the Tennessee Titans, including $8.25 million in guaranteed money. During his four-year stay at Georgia, Michel ran for 3,613 yards and 33 touchdowns.

Michel is also a dual-threat rusher as he caught 64 passes for 621 yards and six touchdowns. According to Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver AJ Green, Michel could win the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award because of his versatility.