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Free agent Damien Harris leaves Patriots, signs with Buffalo Bills

Sports Final: Mike Reiss' rapid fire thoughts on Patriots offseason moves
Sports Final: Mike Reiss' rapid fire thoughts on Patriots offseason moves 05:06

BOSTON -- Running back Damien Harris is leaving New England, but he's staying in the AFC East.

Harris agreed to a one-year deal with the Buffalo Bills, according to Adam Schefter.

Harris then confirmed the news on Twitter, tweeting, "LET'S GO BUFFALO" with a Bills Mafia hashtag.

Harris, 26, was a third-round pick (87th overall) by the Patriots in the 2019 draft out of Alabama. He didn't play much as a rookie, with the trio of Sony Michel, Rex Burkhead and James White taking the bulk of snaps at running back. In 2020, Harris ran for 691 yards and two touchdowns on 137 carries, before having a breakout season in 2021, with 929 yards and 15 touchdowns on 202 carries. Harris, though, took a step back in 2022, with injuries limiting him to just 11 games. Rhamondre Stevenson rose to No. 1 on the depth chart, and Harris rushed just 106 times for 462 yards and three touchdowns.

The Bills know Harris well, as he's rushed for 100 yards in three separate games against them. In four career games against Buffalo, Harris has rushed for 364 yards and five touchdowns on 57 carries, his best numbers against any team.

The Bills had a clear need at running back open up on Monday when Devin Singletary reached agreement on a deal with the Houston Texans. Singletary led the Bills with 819 rushing yards last year, while also catching 38 passes for 280 yards and a touchdown.

With last year's drop in production, Harris appeared to be a potential re-signing for short money on a one-year, prove-it type of deal with the Patriots. Instead, New England signed free-agent running back James Robinson, leaving Harris to sign that one-year deal with the Bills.

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