FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- LeGarrette Blount’s signing with the Philadelphia Eagles on Wednesday closed the book on his two-part tenure with the New England Patriots. And while the departure was expected, with the initial analysis focusing on the club “achieving” its goal with its May 9 tender on Blount, let’s now focus on how Blount’s time with the franchise will be remembered.
"Blount Force Trauma" (a.k.a. power running).
Two Super Bowl championship rings.
Fun touchdown celebrations with the End Zone Militia.
At his best in the bad weather.
The Patriots were the right fit for Blount, who thrived here after stints with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2010-2012) and Pittsburgh Steelers (2014) ended with those clubs moving on from him. Blount always spoke with reverence about the Patriots’ culture, during both his first stint in 2013 and then from 2014-2016.
Last September, when he was named AFC Offensive Player of the Month and talked about how nickname “LG” stood for “Life’s good”, he said this of Bill Belichick: “I love Bill to death. He’s always had my back from the first time I met him. I feel like he’ll probably have it forever.”
Thus, some might ask the question why the sides are parting ways if it’s been such a fruitful pairing.
The sense is that it came down to money, as the club had extended an offer at the start of free agency. But it wasn’t enough to close the deal, as Blount might have felt his career season of 299 carries for 1,161 yards and 18 touchdowns wasn’t being valued enough.
As the Patriots have shown in other situations, they are willing to wait to a point, then they move forward with a Plan B that helps solidify future planning. They did that with the two-year, $6.4 million contract offer to running back Mike Gillislee.
Whether the Patriots will be better with Gillislee, who will be joined by fellow free-agent signee Rex Burkhead, James White, Dion Lewis and D.J. Foster atop the running back depth chart, will be one of many notable storylines to follow with the Patriots in 2017.
Time will tell how that unfolds, but no more time is needed to sum up Blount’s time in New England: It was productive, with a mix of power running and passionate fun.
That will be missed.