FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — New England Patriots running back James White‘s MVP-worthy performance in Super Bowl LI, which was followed by a three-year contract extension with a cash value of $12.69 million, has already made 2017 memorable for him.
But White isn’t getting comfortable, with one example coming in the front-row parking spot he has earned as one of the Patriots’ offseason award-winners.
Summing up his mindset, the humble White said, “Nobody cares what you did last year. Got to get better. Got to bring something new to the table. It’s a ‘what have you done for me lately’ league.”
Offseason awards are determined based on a combination of testing results and attendance, among other things. The Patriots erect signs in the players’ parking lot for each player in the row closest to the entrance.
White has some notable company, as this year’s group includes quarterback Tom Brady, safety Devin McCourty, special-teams captain Matthew Slater, offensive linemen Marcus Cannon and David Andrews, defensive end Trey Flowers, tight end Rob Gronkowski, and top draft pick Derek Rivers (third round, No. 83 overall).
That White is part of that group is impressive considering where he was at this time in 2014, about five months after he was selected in the fourth round out of Wisconsin.
Earlier this week, Bill Belichick used White as an example of a player who initially made the 53-man roster as a developmental player and would most likely be inactive through the early part of the season. The Patriots coach said Brady was in a similar situation as a rookie in 2000, defining players in that category as “guys that aren’t going to play that may eventually, hopefully have a much bigger role on your team.”
The Patriots host the New York Giants in the preseason finale Thursday night, and with the NFL opener just a week after that, it would be a…