According to Mike Garafolo of the NFL network, the New England Patriots are not expected to retain impending free agent LeGarrette Blount for the 2017 season.
Despite coming off a career year, in which he lead the NFL in rushing touchdowns (18) and eclipsed over 1,100 rushing yards, this news comes as a bit of a surprise as there usually isn’t a huge free agent market for running backs on the north side of 30 (Blount turned the big 3-0 in December) so it seemed that the Patriots would of been able to retain Blount at a reasonable price.
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Perhaps Blount is looking to cash in (relatively speaking) after his impressive 2016 campaign in what will probably be the final contract before his career comes to a close. My gut tells me that Blount is most likely looking for a multi year commitment from the Patriots, which may not be something the team is willing to do. New England is probably far more comfortable offering Blount one year deals (like they did last off season) until his skills fall off a cliff, which at his age is going to happen sooner rather than later.
With shifty backs Dion Lewis, James White, and D.J Foster still under contract, the team will explore adding a back with a similar skill set to the bruising Blount. One possibility would be RFA Buffallo Bill running back Mike Gillislee who racked up 8 TD’s in just 101 carries last season while also rushing for 577 yards (5.7 YPC). The Bills foolishly offered the 26 year old running back a low round tender (5th round) and if the Patriots were to pick him up it would be history repeating itself after the team nabbed Chris Hogan from the incompetent Bills in a similar scenario last off season.