Eagles Get Wentz his Bell-Cow, Sign Blount to 1-Year Deal
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The Eagles made a splash at a position of need on Wednesday, signing former Patriots star LeGarrette Blount to a one-year contract.
It's a cost-effective deal for Philadelphia and one that could garner Blount up to $2.8 million with incentives.
One of the biggest backs in football, the 6-foot, 250-pound Blount is coming off a spectacular season with the reigning Super Bowl champions, leading the NFL with 18 rushing touchdowns while gaining a career-high 1,161 yards on 299 carries.
“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,” Eagles executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman said in a statement. “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.”
Blount immediately sits atop the Eagles' depth chart at a position of need ahead of veteran third-down back Darren Sproles, second-year option Wendell Smallwood and rookie fourth-round pick Donnel Pumphrey. Veteran Ryan Mathews, who is recovering from offseason neck surgery, is expected to be released at some point.
Also on the Eagles' 90-man roster at RB are undrafted rookie Corey Clement, a Glassboro product, as well as Byron Marshall, a second-year player being cross-trained as a back and receiver.
Last week, the Patriots put the little-used May 9 tender on Blount, meaning he will count against Philadelphia's compensatory-pick formula.
Blount, 30, has appeared in 100 regular-season games over a seven-year career with New England, Pittsburgh, and Tampa Bay, and has run for a total of 5,122 yards and 49 touchdowns. He's also won two Super Bowls with New England (2014, 2016) and has added 470 more rushing yards and eight touchdowns in eight career playoff games.
Blount played collegiately at Oregon and was originally signed by the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted free agent in 2010. Prior to the start of the regular season that year, Blount was claimed off waivers by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and went on to lead all rookies with 1,007 rushing yards, becoming just the second undrafted rookie ever to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark.
In 2013, he was traded to New England and rushed for 772 yards and seven touchdowns in his first season with the Patriots. In 2014, he re-signed with New England after spending the first 11 games of the season as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Blount is the second player who won the Super Bowl last season with the Pats to sign with the Eagles this offseason, joining veteran defensive end Chris Long.
Long was one of a number of Eagles to take to Twitter to welcome their new teammate.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen