LeGarrette Blount: New England wanted me back, I enjoyed playing there, but I thought this was best fit for me. pic.twitter.com/gFX0tcL1u9
— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) May 18, 2017
LeGarrete Blount, you said that the New England Patriots wanted to bring you back for the 2017 season…..
Listen, LeGarrette Blount had a career-best 2016 season. No one can argue that, but his 1,100 yards and 18 TD’s was clearly an aberration and not the norm, especially for a power running back on the wrong side of 30. The New England Patriots know this, the fans know this, and hell even LeGarrete Blount probably knows this.
This off season the Patriots bolstered their backfield with the relatively expensive additions of Rex Burkhead and Mike Gillislee while also extending pass catching back James White, did I mention Dion Lewis is still on the roster and will be 110% recovered from his ACL injury that he suffered in 2015? Simply put the Patriots backfield is stuffed, and with another roster spot locked up on core special teamer Brandon Bolden, there just isn’t any room left for Blount.
The Patriots even issued a rarely used veteran tender on Blount to ensure that they would receive draft pick compensation for when another team inevitably picked him up. In the off chance no other team offered Blount a contract, yes, technically the Patriots would have retained Blount, but they would have done so at an insanely cheap price at just $1.06 million. In this hypothetical, the Patriots would have so little money invested in Blount that if Gillislee or Burkhead impressed in the preseason the Patriots could have cut ties with Blount with virtually no negative financial impact.
If telling himself that the Patriots wanted him back helps LaGarrette Blount sleep at night then by all means LG keep on thinking that. I value your beauty sleep. But realistically if Blount had been forced to sign that veteran free agent tender he would off been fighting for his life for a roster spot and with seven running backs currently vying for a job, it’s extremely likely Blount would not of made the cut.
That being said, good for Blount for hooking on with the Eagles because before adding Blount, there running back depth chart was the equivalent of a steaming pile of dog poo. I’m sure Blount will have no issues getting his fair share of carries against the likes of Ryan Mathews and Wendell Smallwood.