LeGarrette Blount apparently hasn’t had his best foot forward in Philly so far.
Matt Lombardo of NJ Advance Media reported on Monday that Blount has disappointed in Eagles training camp and has dealt with weight issues, even going so far as to question if the veteran back is a lock for the final roster.
— Matt Lombardo (@MattLombardoPHL) August 21, 2017
The 30-year-old Blount, who is officially listed at 250 pounds, signed a one-year, $1.25 million deal with Philadelphia this offseason. While his bulky build is largely germane to his power running style, reports earlier this week had indeed suggested that Blount could be on the roster bubble. With how crowded the Eagles backfield is this season, not even last year’s rushing touchdowns leader may be safe if he doesn’t get his act together soon.
- LeGarrette Blount
LeGarrette Blount was an exciting addition for Philadelphia Eagles fans after his outstanding season with the New England Patriots last year, but is there a chance the veteran may not make it to the regular season?
Blount has rushed for just 17 yards on nine carries in two preseason games. While it’s never wise to get worked up about the preseason, he’s on the wrong side of 30 and has reportedly looked slow — yes, even slower than usual. In a piece he wrote for NJ.com over the weekend, Matt Lombardo speculated that Blount could be one of the veterans the Eagles end up cutting.
The 30-year-old has struggled to get to the corner on off-tackle runs and it appears as though the workload of last season’s 299 carries with the New England Patriots last season.
In Doug Pederson’s offense, running backs are asked to catch the ball out of the backfield and run off tackle more often than not, neither of which are the strengths of Blount’s game.
The Patriots could have re-signed Blount for fairly cheap money, so that is a bad sign if you believe in Bill Belichick’s uncanny ability to identify when players are about to begin their decline. In reality, Blount’s 1,161 rushing yards and league-leading 18 touchdowns in 2016 were more a product of New England’s high-powered offense and frequency of trips to the goal line.
Carson Wentz could take a big step forward this season now that he has Alshon Jeffery to throw to, but Tom Brady he is not. A 30-year-old Blount is unlikely to thrive outside of the Patriots’ system. The Eagles may be already starting to realize that.
Former New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount has finally found a home in free agency.
The Philadelphia Eagles announced on Wednesday that they have agreed to sign Blount to a one-year contract. Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that the deal could be worth up to $2.8 million.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 17, 2017
Blount had a career year in 2016, rushing for 1,161 yards and an NFL-best 18 touchdowns. The Eagles were in need of a power back, as they drafted two small, athletic backs last month and are expected to release veteran Ryan Mathews this offseason.
With the Patriots having signed Mike Gillislee and Rex Burkhead in addition to extending James White, it’s no surprise they chose not to bring back Blount.
LeGarrette Blount received a rare contract tender that could increase his chances of returning to the New England Patriots.
Blount, who is an unrestricted free agent, received a May 9 tender from the Pats, according to Pro Football Talk.
The tender does two things.
It allows Blount to continue pursuing a deal with another team, but the Pats would receive 2018 compensation if he signs elsewhere. If Blount does not sign elsewhere prior to July 22, he can only return to the Patriots between July 22 and Week 10 of the season. The offer is for 110 percent of Blount’s 2016 pay, which was $1 million.
The offer means the Patriots are still interested in having Blount back, just at the right price. This is somewhat of a surprise considering the Pats signed Rex Burkhead and Mike Gillislie this offseason.
Blount was a valuable member of the team as he scored 18 touchdowns and rushed for over 1,100 yards last season.
- LeGarrette Blount
With Adrian Peterson having officially announced on Tuesday that he is signing with the New Orleans Saints, fellow veteran running back LeGarrette Blount could be the next domino to fall.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Media is reporting that Blount and the New York Giants have “mutual interest.”
The next running back domino to watch: LeGarrette Blount and the #Giants. There is mutual interest there. A potential match before the draft
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 25, 2017
The Giants are still looking to bolster their backfield after they released Rashad Jennings back in February, and they were said to be kicking the tires on Peterson. Now that A.P. is off the market, Blount might be their best option.
Blount is coming off a career year with the Patriots in which he rushed for 1,161 yards and led the NFL with 18 rushing scores. However, he was reportedly unwilling to play for the same $1 million salary New England gave him in 2016, and it seems like the Patriots have signed a player from a division rival to replace Blount.
It’s unclear if Blount has options outside of the Giants at the moment, so he may end up being disappointed with the salary they offer.
The New York Giants are still looking to bolster their backfield after they released Rashad Jennings back in February, but that does not mean they are willing to spend a fortune on the position.
According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, the Giants have interest in free agent veterans Adrian Peterson and LeGarrette Blount. However, they have no intention of overpaying for either — especially before the NFL Draft.
Not much movement in RB market, but NYG are among teams keeping close tabs on Peterson and Blount seeing if their $$ comes down before draft
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) April 20, 2017
This year’s draft class is considered very deep at the running back position, which is not helping guys like Peterson and Blount. Both are on the wrong side of 30, and teams would rather wait to see if they can address the position in the draft.
Blount’s days with the Patriots seem to be over, assuming the Bills don’t match New England’s offer sheet to Mike Gillislee. Peterson has been linked to one other team in recent days, but that team also seems content to wait until after the draft. Patience seems like the only option for guys like Peterson and Blount.
LeGarrette Blount and the New England Patriots have mutual interest in continuing their relationship, but the veteran running back may end up having to find a new home if he sticks to his current salary demands.
Mike Reiss of ESPN.com speculates that the Patriots have held visits with veteran running backs like Adrian Peterson and Mike Gillislee because they are preparing to have to replace Blount. With a deep draft class at tailback, Bill Belichick is not going to stray from his recent approach of using minimal salary cap space on his backfield, especially with Blount being 30.
Blount made $1 million last season with the Patriots, and he enjoyed by far his best season as a pro. He rushed for 1,161 yards and scored an NFL-best 18 rushing touchdowns. You can understand why Blount wants to be compensated for that production, but there’s a reason he remains unsigned.
All indications to this point have been that the Patriots want Blount back, despite some wild rumors we have heard about them acquiring a superstar back. But, as Reiss said, there’s no way New England is going to overpay for an aging back just because he had one great season. With how much time has already passed in free agency, the Pats have all the leverage.