Let’s just dive right in.Myth: “The Patriots signed Dion Lewis off the couch when no one else would.”Reality:After being saddled behind star bell cow LeSean McCoy for his first two years and then being swept up in Chip Kelly’s house cleaning following Andy Reid’s four-win 2012 season Dwayne Allen Color Rush Jersey , Lewis broke his fibula after signing on with the Browns in 2013. Naturally, after a 4-12 season in 2013, the Browns fired first-year head coach Rob Chudzinski and GM Michael Lombardi.After a long rehabilitation process, Lewis was cut at the end of August in 2014. Finally healthy enough to play, he signed with Indianapolis for a short stint that September. After being released, he continued working out for teams — including the Patriots — but it was simply too late in the year to catch on anywhere solid. The Patriots signed him to a reserve deal on the final day of December in 2014. Lewis’ experience as a street free agent wasn’t special. The Patriots didn’t bend over backwards to specifically bring him into their building. Existing team personnel wasn’t altered in any way by his arrival. It was simply the natural process of filling a 90-man roster with depth that lead to Lewis’ opportunity.Myth: “The Patriots aren’t cheap, they just don’t want to pay running backs long-term.”Reality: Few have advocated harder for the eradication of the “Patriots don’t pay anybody” narrative more than myself over the past few years. They consistently rank in the top-five year after year in the number of players on the roster with cap hits that account for 1% or more of the league salary cap. More than any other organization, they heavily invest in their practice squad. And, they’ve been known to adjust the terms of incentive tiers for veterans on track to narrowly miss their target figures, or who have their roles change.However, in Dion Lewis’ scenario, the Patriots clearly low-balled him. The deal that Lewis signed could have been managed easily by the Patriots this offseason, who entered free agency with around $21 million in cap space. After a 2017 season where he was such a dynamic, integral part of the offense, the only conceivable reasons for the Patriots to let him walk were injury history and age.Interestingly enough, months after Lewis’ departure, the Patriots opted to take a running back in the first round with a significant injury history. In doing so, they committed $8,389,710 in fully guaranteed dollars to Sony Michel over four years. The deal Dion signed with the Titans fully guaranteed him $5.75 million at signing. Perhaps even more important — given the injury history of each player and the nature of the running back position is how the dead money shakes out if either player were to be cut or traded during or after the 2020 season;Dead Money: 2020 | 2021 Michel: $4 Adam Butler Jersey ,931,517 | $2,306,055Lewis: $1,125,000 | $562,500This isn’t to say that Sony Michel won’t be an excellent asset to the organization for the duration of his contract, but realistically, his selection won’t be deemed a success unless he becomes the complete back that Dion Lewis already is.Myth: “It was a classless move by Lewis, and he’s lost any respect he had in New England.”Reality: Every NFL player is constantly on the lookout for something that can give them an edge on any given week. And, if Dion Lewis learned nothing else from his time in New England, he learned the value of quality bulletin board material. After being low-balled in March coming off an amazing 2017 season in Foxborough, you can bet last Sunday’s game had been circled on the Lewis family calendar for quite some time. So when he and his new teammates demolished the Patriots in every aspect — to the tune of a 24-point blowout victory — it’s fair to say that his emotions were running a bit hot in the locker room after the contest. What exactly what was classless about the situation?If in the spirit of good-natured competitiveness, if you want to classify Lewis’ comments as saltiness, go for it. But considering the former Patriots running back got the contract he desired and the revenge game victory he psyched himself up for, it’s honestly hard to even make a valid argument for that.If these few passionate remarks not only cause you to label Lewis as classless, but to also forget everything he provided for the organization over his three-year tenure, then maybe sports just aren’t for you.Myth: “The Patriots stuck with him through his ACL injury, and this is how he acts?!?!”Reality: It’s funny how quickly people forget just how good Lewis was for New England in 2015. In fact, he was so good that he became the focal point of their entire offensive attack through the first three weeks of the season — leading to the organization signing him to a modest two-year contract. A month later Elandon Roberts Color Rush Jersey , he tore his ACL against Washington.However, the notion that the Patriots “stuck with him”— as if it was out of the kindness of their hearts — is asinine.Players on IR don’t take up a roster spot.Having inked him to the extension just weeks before, the Patriots would’ve incurred $544,117 in dead money by releasing him immediately (which obviously would have been ridiculous), and $400,000 in the 2016 offseason.If Lewis were to find himself unable to find a landing spot with a new team once he completed his rehabilitation, he could have filed for injury protection, which started counting against teams’ salary caps in 2016. Lewis would’ve been eligible for $400,000 in salary (50%). Myth: “Dion Lewis owes his entire career to the Patriots organization.”Reality: Did the Patriots organization play a role in the spring-boarding of Dion’s career? Sure — but no more so than any other team who had a player on their roster put together a breakout season. Josh McDaniels didn’t hit the holes for Dion — or catch his check-down targets. Robert Kraft didn’t execute Dion’s blitz pickups, and Bill Belichick didn’t subject himself to the hundreds upon hundreds of hits that Dion did.Set aside your tribalistic devotion to the organization for a moment. Try to remember how incredibly rare the talents of NFL players are. Remember that they spend their whole lives working for the opportunity to finally earn a living from those rare talents. And more importantly, remember that they are human too. If you truly do that, then maybe you’ll see that the real myth is believing that players like Dion Lewis owe their careers to teams that operate like the cold, calloused corporations that they are.The Reality? Dion Lewis doesn’t owe the Patriots a damned thing.Follow Brian Phillips on Twitter — @BPhillips_SB The New England Patriots needed every single play available to defeat the Chicago Bears during yesterday’s hard-fought meeting between the two teams. And with the exception of backup quarterback Brian Hoyer, they also needed every player on their active game day roster to ensure the 38-31 victory – the Patriots’ first on the road this year. With all that in mind, let’s take a look at the snap count numbers from the game:James White and Kenjon Barner pick up the slack after Sony Michel’s injuryWhen Sony Michel went down with an injury on the first play of the second quarter, the Patriots lost their number one running back. With only two other backs on their roster, James White and Kenjon Barner had to pick up the slack. As a result, both men saw a bigger than usual workload: White was on the field for 70% (45 of 64) of New England’s offense snaps, Barner for 27 % (17 of 64) – both new season-highs for the veteran runners.Derek Rivers edges out Deatrich Wise Jr. in playing timeAfter missing all of his 2017 season due to a torn ACL, Derek Rivers’ second campaign in the NFL started slowly. Entering yesterday’s game https://www.patriotsfanstore.com/Devin-Mccourty-Jersey , the former third-round draft pick was on the field for just 17 defensive snaps. Against the Bears, however, Rivers set a new career-high by playing 24 of a possible 82 snaps (29%) as the team’s third defensive edge. Interestingly enough, he saw more playing time in this role than New England’s sack leader: Deatrich Wise Jr. was on the field for just 10 snaps (12%).The Patriots’ receiver roles remain unchanged...Ever since the arrival of Josh Gordon and the return of Julian Edelman, the duo established itself as the Patriots’ one-two punch at wide receiver. Yesterday again, the veterans clearly played the most snaps at the position: Edelman was on the field for 63 of 64 snaps (98%), Gordon for 61 of 64 (96%). Behind them, Chris Hogan served as the number three (42 of 64; 66%) with Phillip Dorsett (8; 12%) and Cordarrelle Patterson (6; 9%) as little more than package-specific depth options....as Chris Hogan turns into a core special teamerCatching six passes for 63 yards, Hogan had an active day as the Patriots’ third wide receiver. He also saw extensive action in the kicking game and was on the field for 20 of 33 (61%) special teams snaps – the fifth most on the team behind only Nate Ebner (27; 82%), Matthew Slater (22; 67%), Brandon King (22; 67%), and Nicholas Grigsby (21; 64%). Hogan, who registered one tackle, is proving his value to the team even with a smaller role on offense.J.C. Jackson enters the rotation opposite Stephon GilmoreThe Patriots continue rotating their perimeter cornerbacks on the opposite side of Stephon Gilmore. While Gilmore was on the field for all but one snap (81 of 82; 99%), Jason McCourty (55; 67%), Jonathan Jones (49; 60%), J.C. Jackson (31; 38%) and Eric Rowe (28; 34%) all shared time as the rotational options alongside New England’s number one cornerback. Jackson in particular is noteworthy: the undrafted rookie had an up-and-down performance but is given plenty of chances to show his worth – the same approach the team took in 2014 with fellow undrafted defensive back Malcolm Butler.Seven players were on the field for 100% of the snapsA total of seven players did not leave the field once against the Bears. All five of the Patriots’ offensive linemen – including backup right tackle LaAdrian Waddle – went wire-to-wire. Quarterback Tom Brady also played all 64 offensive snaps of the day. On the defensive side of the ball, meanwhile, only starting strong safety Patrick Chung did not leave the field and play all 82 snaps.