The Lions added some help for the middle of their offensive line.
The team announced the signing of center Wesley Johnson.
The Patriots looked like they finally had a well-defined backfield once they added Mike Gillislee and Rex Burkhead last offseason. Gillislee was supposed to replace LeGarrette Blount as the power back, while the more-versatile Burkhead would be called upon in many different situations. James White and Lewis were set to split time as the passing-game backs.
Instead, Gillislee fizzled, Burkhead got hurt and White failed to build off his status as Super Bowl hero, allowing Lewis to emerge as a workhorse down the stretch. The Patriots were reminded that Lewis is a special, all-around talent, but his breakout also priced him out of New England. Burkhead was the cheaper and younger player to re-sign, while his former Bengals teammate, Jeremy Hill, was a sneaky-good signing to push Gillislee.
The Patriots still have 80 percent of their run-blocking back, and between Burkhead, Gillislee, Hill and White, they go into the season with healthy options.
Lewis was a luxury, but as with almost every running back who comes through New England, he was far from a necessity.
Garrett and Lal were among the Cowboys’ staffers to attend SMU’s Pro Day on Thursday, getting a good look at wide receiver Courtland Sutton.
“He can catch the ball like no other,” Lal said of Sutton. “He’s got a huge catch radius. Strong hands. So that’s a start. If a receiver can catch, obviously that’s key. Then, he’s coachable. We were giving him, on the fly, some coaching points and kind of coaching him a little hard, seeing how he would respond, and he responded. He’s not polished like most of these guys coming out, but a great athlete, and he’s a moldable piece of clay.”
Sutton did not run Thursday, standing on his 4.54 from the combine, but he did do position drills with Garrett and Lal leading the workout. Sutton drew scouts from 25 teams, including four other wide receiver coaches.