LeGarrette Blount led the NFL with 18 touchdowns in 2016, but can’t find an offer in line with his production.
In the wake of last week’s report from CSN New England that Blount has “an offer on the table” to return to the Patriots, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport said on Good Morning Football that the Pats haven’t budged from their original proposal to the 30-year-old running back.
“It doesn’t sound like the Patriots have moved at all from their original offer, given a little less than a month ago when free agency started,” Rapoport said. “They like LeGarrette Blount. They have strong feelings for him. He actually wants to return as well.”
Those strong feelings don’t come with cash attached. At a Celtics game last week, Blount shared a hug with Patriots owner Robert Kraft then famously quipped to reporters “See, tell them I still got it. Give me some money,” via Yahoo Sports.
While the Pats have a need for a power back, Rapoport noted that the team isn’t in a hurry to increase its offer for a one-dimensional runner generating a shallow market.
“The Patriots really have not upped their offer because at this point LeGarrette Blount does not have a competing offer, has not yet been able to take a visit with another team, which might spur the Patriots to increase the amount of money they’re willing to give him,” Rapoport said. “What LeGarrette Blount needs now is a little bit of leverage to get the Patriots to pay a little bit more than they originally offered. Because otherwise it just doesn’t seem like he’s thrilled to come back and make less than, say, Rex Burkhead is making for the Patriots.”
After finding a similarly cold market last offseason, Blount settled for a one-year, $1 million contract with the Patriots last season.
The pairing between the Pats and Blount makes an eventual reunion seem obvious. New England needs a big, short-yardage back and the veteran is comfortable in the scheme. However, if Blount is unwilling to take a deal for a lower rate than Burkhead, the situation could linger well into the summer months — until a possible injury moves the needle on his market.