The Philadelphia Eagles have signed veteran free agent running back LeGarrette Blount, according to an official announcement from the team. NFL insider Ian Rapoport notes the deal is worth up to $2.8 million.
To put it bluntly (ensue booing), this specific signing wasn’t exactly expected. But the Eagles sure did need help at running back.
There’s been a lot of concern about the Eagles’ backfield ever since the conclusion of the 2017 NFL Draft. Despite Howie Roseman calling it an “historic running back class,” the Eagles left the draft without a real lead back.
Blount — who measures in at 6-0, 250 pounds — gives the Eagles an experienced, physical runner that they previously lacked. The 30-year-old rushed for 1,161 yards and 18 (!) touchdowns last year on 299 attempts, which comes out to 3.9 yards per carry.
“LeGarrette Blount is a tough, physical runner who has enjoyed a great deal of success in New England and we are excited about adding him to this football team,” said Roseman. “We feel good about the depth and competition that we have created at the running back position and we are looking forward to getting the guys out on the field next week for OTAs.”
The Eagles won’t be able to rely on Blount as a pass catcher, but the truth is they don’t need him to. They already have a lot of backs with that skill in Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood, and Donnel Pumphrey. Blount figures to see most of his work on first and second down with those other backs rotating in.
The signing of Blount is bad news for two Eagles players. First, it confirms that Ryan Mathews is going to be gone, which we all basically knew anyway. It also means undrafted free agent signing Corey Clement will have a harder time making the final roster, though he could still end up on Philadelphia’s practice squad.
Blount is ultimately a nice one-year stop gap for the Eagles. He’ll run hard and take some pressure off Carson Wentz. Philadelphia can try again to find a long-term answer in next year’s draft.
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