Eagles bolster backfield with former Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount

Eric Edholm

The Philadelphia Eagles have signed free-agent running back LeGarrette Blount, the team announced Wednesday morning.

Blount’s deal with the Eagles is potentially for much more money than the New England Patriots would have paid him, according to an ESPN report:

The Patriots got a lot out of Blount the past few seasons but went in a different direction this offseason, signing free agents Rex Burkhead and Mike Gillislee at what suddenly is a crowded position. They also offered the esoteric “May 9 tender” to Blount for $1.1 million after those signings, which at the very least could help their compensatory pick formula for 2018 depending on if Blount makes the Eagles and earns most of that money.

The Eagles signed former Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount to a one-year deal. (AP)
The Eagles signed former Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount to a one-year deal. (AP)

The Eagles certainly needed help in the backfield. They failed to add a bigger back in the offseason, drafting diminutive Donnel Pumphrey to go along with 33-year-old Darren Sproles, and still have injury-prone Ryan Mathews (due to make a base salary of $4 million) and Wendell Smallwood, coming off a nada rookie season, in the picture. The Eagles also passed on signing Jamaal Charles, despite connections to the coaching staff.

“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.”

The 6-foot, 250-pound Blount, who turns 30 in December, is coming off his best NFL season in Year 7 and was named the 80th best player in the NFL last season by his peers but had to wait until mid-May to be signed. Such is the life of an NFL running back, it would seem. He led the league with 18 rushing touchdowns, the most since the 2009 season and totaled 1,161 rush yards on 299 carries in the regular season.

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Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!