The running back pieces are beginning to fall into place as NFL free agency continues moving forward, and there are going to be some new workhorses in new places for 2017. On Monday, the New England Patriots found their new starting running back. Early on Tuesday, Adrian Peterson agreed to a deal with the New Orleans Saints. Now, the New York Giants are next in line to land a new running back, and it looks like it could be LeGarrette Blount.
LeGarrette Blount has been holding out a bit this offseason as free agent talks have stalled with the New England Patriots, but now, there is no need for them to continue. The Pats have found their new running back, and Blount may have found a new home.
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
As reported by NFL.com, there is indeed a mutual interest between the Giants and Blount that could see a deal worked out before this weekend’s NFL Draft. Anyone who saw the Giants last season knows that they need help in the offensive backfield, and the Patriots no longer have a need for Blount.
Last week, the Patriots extended an offer to Buffalo Bills running back Mike Gillislee, and as reported by ESPN, the Bills have chosen not to match that offer. The deal is for two years and worth $6.4 million with the Patriots, and the Bills will receive a fifth-round draft pick as compensation.
Gillislee had 577 yards and eight touchdowns for the Bills last season as a backup to starter LeSean McCoy. He will end up replacing Blount, who is coming off a season in which he led the league with 18 rushing touchdowns. That is the most in a season since Adrian Peterson had 18 in 2009.
The Patriots had also visited with Peterson during free agency, but he agreed to a two-year deal with the New Orleans Saints over the last 24 hours.
With “All-Day” in New Orleans and Gillislee in New England, Blount seemed to be left out in the cold. The Patriots are doing just fine, but with the draft quickly approaching, Blount has seen a valid door open for him as well.
Every year, a number of veteran free agents finally end up striking deals with teams in the days leading up to the NFL Draft. They know this could end up being their last chance to really get a roster spot before rookie contracts need to be negotiated.
Not only is Blount coming off of the highest single-season touchdown total of his career, but he also had his best rushing yard output with 1,161. New York has Paul Perkins and Shan Vereen, but they need a power back to run through the line and help open up their explosive passing game a bit more.
With Victor Cruz and Odell Beckham Jr. on the sides of the field, Blount could help Eli Manning find them open more often. The Giants need a strong and versatile running back, and Blount needs to make sure he has a deal in place before Thursday night.
The New England Patriots and LeGarrette Blount have had a good relationship throughout his career, but things have seemed off since their Super Bowl win in February. New England decided to send a message by bringing in Adrian Peterson and making an offer to Mike Gillislee, but it still didn’t push Blount’s buttons. With the 2017 NFL Draft quickly approaching, him signing with the New York Giants seems like a match that works for everyone.
[Featured Image by Patrick Smith/Getty Images]