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James White 'Taking His Time' In Free Agency

BOSTON (CBS) -- With the start of free agency last week in the NFL, deals were made fast and furiously around the league. Free-agent running back James White, though, was merely a spectator.

That might be the case for the short-term future, too. According to NFL Network's Mike Giardi, White is being patient as he waits for the offers to come in.

As noted, while money was being spent in various spots last week, running back was not a popular position early in free agency. Aaron Jones signed a big deal to stay with the Packers, with $20 million guaranteed. Chris Carson also re-signed with the Seahawks, keeping another potential big name from the market. Kenyan Drake signed a two-year, $11 million deal with the Raiders, but no other deals have dipped into the double digits of millions.

The 29-year-old White is a free agent for the first time in his career. He signed a three-year, $12 million extension with the Patriots before his rookie contract expired, and he quickly outperformed that deal by amassing 1,176 yards from scrimmage and scoring 12 touchdowns in the 2018 season.

He averaged 850 yards from scrimmage (256 rushing, 594 receiving) and 6.5 touchdowns per season from 2016-19. His numbers dipped in 2020, as he dealt with a personal tragedy early in the year and returned to a Patriots' offense that struggled across the board. That statistical drop is sure to impact his free-agent value in some way.

Last week, Adam Schefter reported that several teams had inquired about White, including the Buccaneers.

"I'm still very young, so I have a lot of good football left in me," White said in early January, after the Patriots' season ended. "I didn't play my first couple of years, so kind of knock two years off of my career shelf life. But I still have plenty of good football left in me. Wherever my future takes me. I'm excited about it and I'm excited to be more productive next season."

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