The Patriots aren’t a team that tends to shell out big money, and the team will follow its precedent this offseason when negotiating with its 2016 leading rusher and free agent running back, LeGarrette Blount.
With so many key free agents for New England, such as Malcolm Butler, Dont’a Hightower and Logan Ryan, it was a given that they wouldn’t be able to keep them all. According to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, Blount could be one of the casualties. Garafolo said, while speaking on the network on Tuesday, that he does not expect Blount to be with the team in the 2017 season.
Blount is coming off of a year in which he rushed for over 1,100 yards. In addition, Blount found the endzone 18 times in 2016.
The Ravens have a need at running back, and the 30 year old Blount is the type of bruising, but dynamic, runner that the Ravens do not currently have on the roster. Blount finished fifth in the NFL with 741 yards after contact, and was eighth in the league in missed tackles, finished the 2016 season with 42.
However, coming off such a strong season, it’s unlikely that the Ravens will be able to afford Blount while still making a run at some of its own free agents. Spotrac estimated market value for Blount is a three year, $13 million deal, averaging out to $4.3 million per year. The release of Shareece Wright and Kendrick Lewis may make a deal more feasible, but it still may be out of the Ravens price range for a position that is not the biggest of needs.
Despite the big names in the running back free agent market, Blount may be the top option, as Jamaal Charles and Adrian Peterson are no longer what they used to be. Other top free agent backs include Latavius Murray, Danny Woodhead and Isaiah Crowell. As a result, Blount may receive more than the Ravens are willing to spend as teams more desperate than Baltimore will be more willing to reach to find their solution. If Blount’s market turns out to be limited and at a lower cost, expect the Ravens to be major players in the pursuit for his services.
So, what do you think? Should the Ravens bring Blount to Baltimore?