Friday, March 28, 2014

Patriots' offensive backfield back to pre-Blount state


LeGarrette Blount joined the New England Patriots last offseason basically as a bonus pair of legs, as Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen were entrenched as the team's 1a-1b pairing at tailback.

But an early injury to Vereen and fumbling issues with Ridley opened the door for Blount to contribute, and Blount came through. He went on to amass 772 yards and seven touchdowns on 153 attempts in 16 games, throwing in some above average work in the return game to boot.

This year, the Patriots are back to where they started.

Blount hit free agency earlier this month, and he clearly wasn't a priority of the Patriots. So Blount was able to settle into the market a bit, and this week, he found a new home.

According to multiple media reports, Blount signed a two-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers worth just under $4 million. Steelers Mike Tomlin hinted earlier this week that his team was in the market for a player of Blount's variety.

“We need to add quality depth to that position, whether it’s through free agency or the draft,” he said Monday, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Le’Veon Bell is a talented player, but he’s also a young player. It would be good to get a been-there, done-that type of guy in the room.”

They got one.

Now, the Patriots are more than likely to take a tailback somewhere in the upcoming draft. Brandon Bolden is still on the roster, but he could use some competition. Plus, Vereen and Ridley are both entering contract years.

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