The Philadelphia Eagles landed the NFL’s rushing touchdown leader from 2016.
The Eagles announced Wednesday that they have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with Blount. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that the deal is worth a max of $2.8 million.
Blount becomes the battering ram in an Eagles backfield full of jitterbugs. Coming off an 18-touchdown season, the 30-year-old veteran immediately enters as the goal-line, short-yardage back Philly has missed the past few seasons.
The move could signal the end for Ryan Mathews in Philly, who can save $4 million by clipping the oft-injured running back.
Blount’s joins a Philly backfield that boasts all-time great scat back Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood and fourth-round rookie Donnel Pumphrey along with Mathews. Blount ran for 1,161 yards on 299 carries last season and can carry a load if needed while the smaller backs handle the pass-catching duties.
Last week, the New England Patriots saddled Blount with a little-used tender. The move allowed the Patriots to keep the running back’s departure as part of their compensation formula, despite the signing happening after May 9. Thus, Blount’s deal will work against Philly’s comp-pick formula.
As part of the Pats’ tender, Blount was set to earn a base salary of $1.1 million, with a max value of $2.1 million if he stayed in New England. Eagles GM Howie Roseman sweated that deal to get Blount to Philly as its big back.
Adding Blount continues Roseman’s offseason makeover of infusing veteran players to the roster on short-term deals. This offseason, the Eagles added receiver Alshon Jeffery on a one-year deal, Torrey Smith to a cuttable contract, and traded for defensive lineman Timmy Jernigan (on the final year of his contract).
The mixture of veterans on reasonable deals puts the Eagles in position to leap back into the playoff hunt.
Philly’s offense, in particular, has been significantly upgraded to buffer Carson Wentz in Year 2. The signings of Jeffery and Smith to go with Jordan Matthews, Zack Ertz, Brent Celek and Nelson Agholor (if he makes the team) gives Wentz a much-improved pass-catching corps. Blount’s addition to Sproles, Smallwood and Pumphrey does wonders to round out the backfield.
Roseman certainly put pieces in place to help Wentz progress as a passer. If the sophomore improves his footwork, mechanics, and mental acumen, he’s set up to thrive.