Even after acquiring running back Rex Burkhead and signing him to a hefty one-year contract deal, it appears there’s still a probability the New England Patriots re-sign LeGarrette Blount.
The 30-year-old running back LeGarrette Blount, who is currently a free agent, has an “offer on the table” from the New England Patriots. According to a report, there’s mutual interest in a return but the money “matters.” NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport also reported earlier that both parties would prefer a comeback.
The New England Patriots definitely have room for at least one more running back, if not two or three. It is expected that the Patriots, like any other teams, to make those moves between now and when the 90-man roster is ultimately filled after the 2017 NFL Draft process — by the end of April/early May. So the potential comeback of LeGarrette Blount to the New England has less to do with the salary cap space on the roster than it does a difference of opinion on his value as it relates to a contract deal.
New England Patriots and Blount obviously haven’t reached the standoff yet, and my sense is that the defending Super Bowl champions won’t be shifting much off where they are, even if Blount ultimately gets a better contract offering from other franchises. With that, the Patriots assume the risk of losing Blount, who hasn’t been connected to any other organization.
This year’s draft process features a deep running-back class, and even if Blount is ultimately back with the New England, many would still think the Patriots will strongly consider landing another running back.
Blount carried the ball 299 times for 1,161 yards with 18 touchdowns in 2016 NFL season. The two-time Super Bowl champion also recorded seven catches for 38 yards. It was by far his best season in the National Football League. Blount did slow down at the end of the season, averaging just 2.6 yards per carry in his final three regular-season contests and 3.1 yards per carry in the postseason. Newly signed Hex Burkhead alongside a fully-healthy Dion Lewis could help take the load off LeGarrette Blount should he returns in 2017 NFL season.