Former Ohio State Running Back Ezekiel Elliott Reportedly Narrows Down Free Agency Options to the Bengals, Eagles and Jets

By Chase Brown on March 23, 2023 at 4:12 pm
Ezekiel Elliott
Nathan Ray Seebeck / USA TODAY Sports

With his Dallas Cowboys tenure now over, Ezekiel Elliott could return to Ohio this offseason.

According to a report from ESPN's Adam Schefter, the former Ohio State running back has named three teams for which he wants to continue his NFL career: The Cincinnati Bengals, Philadelphia Eagles and New York Jets. Elliott hopes to decide by the end of next week.

Last season, Elliott posted career lows in carries (231), rushing yards (876), receptions (17) and receiving yards (92) as the Cowboys shifted toward a split-backfield approach with Elliott and his teammate Tony Pollard. Despite that, Elliott scored 12 touchdowns on the year, tied for the second-highest total of his career.

If he were to sign with the Bengals, Elliott would join a backfield led by Joe Mixon, Chris Evans and Trayveon Williams after Samaje Perine left in free agency to sign with the Denver Broncos. He would also play alongside Ohio State teammate Joe Burrow. The Eagles need a running back after Miles Sanders signed with the Panthers, while the Jets are looking to build depth behind Breece Hall as he returns from a torn ACL he suffered last season.

The Cowboys' No. 4 overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft, Elliott rushed for 8,262 yards and collected 80 total touchdowns across seven seasons in Dallas. Those numbers rank third in franchise history behind Hall of Fame running backs Emmitt Smith and Tony Dorsett.

At Ohio State, Elliott played a pivotal role in the program's 2014 title, earning the CFP's Offensive MVP after a 246-yard, four-touchdown performance in the Buckeyes' 42-20 win over Oregon. In 2015, Elliott was the Big Ten's Running Back of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year, and he also received second-team All-American recognition.

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