New England Patriots: No Blount, No Big Deal
By Stephen Ur
The New England Patriots might lose running back LeGarrette Blount in free agency this offseason. Is this a loss that the Patriots can handle?
While LeGarrette Blount would be a crushing loss to New England Patriots fans, the team doesn’t need him as much as you think. Blount wasn’t as valuable to the team that he was as the numbers say, so losing him wouldn’t be a big deal.
Blount was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2010 NFL Draft. He was signed by the Patriots in 2012 and played with them through 2013. After a season with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2014, he returned to New England in 2015.
While the 18 rushing touchdowns was an impressive stat, there’s one that wasn’t so impressive. He averaged just 3.9 yards per rush in 2016.
New England also has two other running backs that could outplay Blount. They may not rush for 18 touchdowns, but both Dion Lewis and James White are elusive players.
Lewis has missed a lot of time with injury, but when he does play, he shines bright. He only started seven games and sat behind Blount when it came to getting carries.
White isn’t just the man who helped cap off the Patriots comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI, either. He can make plays as both a back and a receiver. He’s been doing that over his two seasons in Foxboro.
The Patriots don’t even need a run game if worse comes to worse. As long as they have quarterback Tom Brady under center, they’re favorites to win almost all of their games. No matter who his receivers are, he has been able to make plays.
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Despite possibly losing the team’s leading rusher in 2016, the Patriots still have a loaded team going forward. With Brady and Bill Belichick leading the way, New England is looking like heavy favorites to repeat as Super Bowl champions next season.