The New England Patriots were able to find a trade partner for Jeff Demps in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and they added in a seventh-round pick to Demps in order to nab Buccaneers backup running back LeGarrette Blount. The Bucs never wanted to keep Blount, who had fallen out of favor with head coach Greg Schiano, so they were also glad to have found a trade partner for Blount. With their new seventh-round pick, the Bucs traded up for former Rutgers Scarlet Knights star RB Mike James, and it looks like he was the main attraction- not Demps- for the Bucs.
The deal looks like a good one for the Patriots, because they are getting a former 1,00o-yard running back. Two Buccaneers fans dropped into the site and commented on the Blount trade, and both of them believe Blount is a good running back who was mistreated by Schiano in Tampa Bay. That partially has to do with Doug Martin‘s excellent rookie season, but it also has to do with the fact that Schiano seems to despise Blount.
We can all agree that Blount is in a better situation in New England, because at least Bill Belichick is willing to allow the former 1,000-yard rusher to get back on track. Although he isn’t much of a pass blocker, Blount’s struggles as a pass-catcher are overstated. Blount is also a great pure rusher with good strength, excellent explosiveness, and underrated agility.
This is a great deal for the Patriots, because they could be getting a very good No. 2 back to help cut down on Stevan Ridley‘s workload. Ridley is obviously the feature back in New England, and that’s not going to change any time soon. However, he did have 290 carries last season, and it is probably best to shave maybe 50 carries or more off of that total.
Blount can be that kind of a guy for the Patriots as a backup, and the Pats aren’t going to pay him much either. The Buccaneers gave Blount a one-year deal worth $1.25 million, and that was cheap enough. But ESPN Boston reported that LeGarrette Blount agreed to take a near 50% pay cut and will now make $630,000 for a total of a $620,000 pay cut. And yes, that means Blount is making the minimum amount of money given to a four-year veteran. So Blount’s deal comes at no risk financially, because he is being paid the minimum on a one-year deal. For a guy who had a 1,000-yard season as a rookie, this is an absolute bargain for the Patriots. It’s also a sign that Blount knows his spot on the Patriots roster is far from guaranteed, and that he is working to clean up his act and fulfill his second chance at being a good player in this league whilst playing for an elite team in the New England Patriots.
Mike Reiss also reports that LeGarrette Blount is eligible for a $50,000 workout bonus.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.