The Lions’ interest in Blount was first reported earlier this week. The veteran rusher was visiting with Detroit today.
Blount expressed interest in staying with the Eagles, but it’s no surprise that he’s not returning to Philadelphia. The Birds, who are limited on cap space, weren’t about to give big money to a running back who turns 32 this season.
With that said, losing Blount is at least a bit of a bummer. The Eagles’ 2017 leading rusher was fun to watch when he was bowling defenders over and he was a good locker room presence. Blount was a strong contributor during the Eagles’ Super Bowl run with 36 attempts for 130 yards (4.5 average) and three touchdowns in the playoffs.
The upside to Blount leaving is that he helps the Eagles’ compensatory pick formula. The Eagles have now lost five free agents to other teams: Blount, Trey Burton, Beau Allen, Patrick Robinson, and Caleb Sturgis. That could be good enough to land them an extra fourth-round pick and two extra sixth-round picks next offseason.
Blount’s departure means Jay Ajayi figures to be the Eagles’ lead back in 2018. He’ll likely split time with 2017 undrafted rookie standout Corey Clement. The Eagles still have Donnel Pumphrey and Wendell Smallwood under contract. Darren Sproles is a free agent. Philadelphia could look to add another running back in this year’s draft.
Best wishes in Detroit, LG. You’re forever a Philly legend.