LeGarrette Blount didn’t have a hot market this offseason before landing with the Philadelphia Eagles in mid-May. Despite the 30-year-old averaging just 3.9 yards per carry on 299 totes last season, Eagles general manager Howie Roseman believes he just added an engine to his offense.
“We’re always looking for complementary players when we go over our roster and positions,” Roseman told the team’s official website. “Obviously, LeGarrette had a tremendous amount of success with New England last year, rushing for over 1,000 yards and scoring 18 touchdowns and winning a Super Bowl. He sets the tempo for your team as a running back.
“He can run between the tackles and he can drag tacklers down the field. He can do everything you look for in the running game. He had runs of plus-20 yards (Blount had seven rushes of 20-plus yards last season, tied for sixth most in the league) and he’s won two Super Bowls in the last four years. For us, people are going to see that his size is what jumps out at you, but he’s also got quick feet for a big man. He has a complementary skill set that works well in our backfield.”
Blount adds a short-yardage back and potential first- and second-down workhorse to complement a backfield of Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood, fourth-round rookie Donnel Pumphrey and undrafted free agent Corey Clement. Ryan Mathews is also on the roster, but the standing expectation is the Eagles will cut the veteran back once he’s recovered from his next injury — the move would save the Eagles $4 million against the salary cap.
Adding Blount continues the offseason trend of Roseman adding veterans on short-term deals in an effort to win now, while still setting up the roster to be flexible down the road. Roseman’s focus this offseason seemed to be making the Eagles bigger on offense.
“He loves the game and he has a lot of energy,” Roseman said. “We’re bigger on offense, with LeGarrette added to a group that includes Alshon Jeffery and Zach Ertz and Jordan Matthews, a good offensive line, we feel. He is another piece and we’re glad to have him.”