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Posts tagged with "LeGarrette Blount"

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Any last doubts the New York Giants were serious about making Paul Perkins their feature running back should be removed now that LeGarrette Blount landed in Philadelphia.

The Giants never really made a serious play for Blount. There was mutual interest before the draft and a token minimum-salary offer in recent weeks, according to multiple sources. Blount ultimately signed a deal that could net him close to $3 million for the 2017 season with the Eagles.

It’s fair to surmise, based on how this all unfolded, that the Giants only wanted Blount if he could be had on the uber-cheap. They selected running back Wayne Gallman in the fourth round of the draft, and they also didn’t go hard pre-draft after Adrian Peterson, Eddie Lacy, Latavius Murray or, really, any of the other perceived top backs on the free-agent market.

If anything, general manager Jerry Reese was going to add a power back this offseason only for pennies on the dollar, an interesting approach. Right or wrong, their reason is Perkins, the second-year back out of UCLA.

It wasn’t an accident that coach Ben McAdoo recently declared Perkins the Giants’ starter. He has refused to do the same for second-year middle linebacker B.J. Goodson, second-year safeties Darian Thompson and Andrew Adams, or recent draft picks Evan Engram and Dalvin Tomlinson. But with the running back position and Perkins, it was different.

It was a surprising approach for McAdoo. He usually reserves the right to make public depth-chart declarations until after they play themselves out on the field.

This running back situation is different. It’s Perkins’ job to lose, with Orleans Darkwa and Gallman as insurance. Shane Vereen also is healthy after twice tearing his triceps last season, and returns as the passing-down back for at least one more season. Shaun Draughn is insurance at that spot.

“Paul Perkins is going to be our starter out there on first and second down, and we’ve added some competition in the room in a variety of ways,” McAdoo said during an interview on WFAN after the draft. “Shaun Draughn, Shane Vereen is coming back, we drafted Wayne Gallman, so it’s going to be interesting to see how the running back room shakes out.”

The Giants are going to use multiple running backs. This seems like a philosophical staple for McAdoo. He shuffled in Andre Williams even when he was ineffective finding holes. Williams averaged 2.9 yards per carry in 2015 and his workload still managed to increase late in the season.

McAdoo also continued to trot Rashad Jennings out there last year even when he couldn’t make defenders miss. Jennings remained the Giants’ starting running back up until the final week of the regular season.

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So LeGarrette Blount is a Philadelphia Eagle, which means maybe Birds coach Doug Pederson will send his big back up the gut when he goes for it on fourth down against the Giants next season.

Rolling Carson Wentz around the left end and running Darren Sproles off right tackle didn’t quite go the way the Eagles had hoped, for some odd reason, in the Giants’ 28-23 win at MetLife Stadium on Nov. 6 last fall.

The Giants could have used a back like Blount, though, and Big Blue and the Arizona Cardinals apparently had an offer on the table for him that the Eagles beat, per NFL Network.

It’s unclear if the Giants wanted Blount to play for free (his deal is only a $1.25 million base salary, per the Philadelphia Inquirer, with $400,000 guaranteed and up to $2.8 million in incentives). But either way, it’s obvious that Jerry Reese and Ben McAdoo don’t mind going young (read: cheap) in the backfield.

That is evidenced by Wayne Gallman’s drafting out of Clemson to complement second-year pro Paul Perkins, the renegotiated contract of vet Shane Vereen, and other low-cost vets Orleans Darkwa and Shaun Draughn.

Where do the Giants go from here? In their running back search, likely nowhere. Gallman’s penchant for finding the end zone and his second efforts at the goal line possibly will serve the purpose Blount would have.

DeAngelo Williams, 34, is the type of free agent back that theoretically could be a training camp pickup, but the Giants are clearly trying to keep their costs low, but that normally means young players, and that strategy is understandable at least in the context of the Giants’ actions earlier this offseason.

From here on, look for Reese to monitor the market for late add-ons, particularly at kicker, corner and offensive line. This means free agents but also players that other NFL teams may unexpectedly release in camp or ultimately decide not to re-sign.

Reese did this last summer when he signed career-Bengal corner Leon Hall in early August. Hall’s snaps increased and he started at free safety then in the Wild Card game in Green Bay, though that didn’t go so well.

Corner is not the Giants’ greatest need, with Janoris Jenkins and Eli Apple the returning starters and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie still in the fold. But there are plenty of snaps still available at that position, too.

Giants GM Jerry Reese

Consider that Coty Sensabaugh and Trevin Wade combined to play 76 snaps in the Giants’ Wild Card loss in Green Bay, and neither appears to be returning to the Giants. Sensabaugh signed as a free agent with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Wade curiously remains a free agent.

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One of the biggest criticisms of the Detroit Lions 2017 draft class is that they didn’t select a runningback. The Lions had a chance at landing some of the top backs in the class, but decided the current crop of Ameer Abdullah, Theo Riddick, Zach Zenner, and Dwayne Washington are more than serviceable. Or maybe not.

Yahoo! Sports’ Charles Robinson reports the Lions are one of two teams in play for former Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount. From Robinson:

LEAGUE SOURCES SAID AT LEAST TWO TEAMS ARE SQUARELY IN PLAY FOR BLOUNT NOW THAT THE DRAFT HAS ENDED: THE DETROIT LIONS AND NEW YORK GIANTS, TWO FRANCHISES THAT ARE STILL MULLING THE ADDITION OF A BELL-COW RUNNING BACK TO EAT UP SOME EARLY-DOWN AND SHORT-YARDAGE CARRIES NEXT SEASON.

Blount, 30, has been on a lot of Lions fans radars the entire offseason. The Lions sturggled picking up first downs in short yardage situations last year, and there may be no better 3rd-and-short runningback in the league then Blount. He is also a beast near the goal line, evidenced by his league-leading 18 rushing touchdowns last season. To put it in perspective, the Lions have only had 16 rushing touchdowns combined the past two seasons. His 3.9 yards per carry last season would have rated him second on the Lions behind Abdullah, who carried the ball just 18 times last year.

There should be an err of confidence for Lions fans seeing as how Detroit does offer a better chance to win than the Giants do, and Blount would have a clearly defined role here in Detroit, and a sizable one at that.

 Blount would offer a nice change of pace and a three-headed monster of him, Abdullah, and Riddick in the backfield is something that no opposing defenses want to see. We’ve already spent our offseason upgrading the offensive line, which should help the running game regardless, but being able to convert those 3rd-and-4th-and-ones will extend drives, keep the defense off the field, and add wins.

Brandon Jacobs caught wind of what might be going down with the Giants and offered a four-word endorsement.

“This could be great,’’ he posted Tuesday on Twitter.

Jacobs should know. He was the most recent big, bruising running back the Giants put on the field, and the last time he played a significant role for them was 2011. At long last, another could be on the way.

There is mutual interest between the Giants and LeGarrette Blount, according to NFL Network, and the report that makes sense.

Blount has been on the open market since early March. He wanted to return to New England. The Patriots, though, signed Rex Burkhead and Mike Gillislee and extended the contract of James White. Clearly, they have moved on from Blount.

The Giants have a need for a player who possesses his skills to augment their backfield of second-year Paul Perkins and veteran Shane Vereen. With the first round of the NFL Draft arriving Thursday, the Giants would like to know where they stand at running back.

It is rare when a running back makes his eighth NFL season his best, but that is what the 30-year-old Blount did. He rushed for a career-high 1,161 yards and scored a staggering 18 rushing touchdowns in 2016. Considering Blount had a total of 31 touchdowns in his first seven seasons, the frequency he hit the end zone last season was stunning.

No one’s clamoring for additions to the Patriots offense in this year’s draft class. They had the third-best scoring unit in the NFL last season, and they were fourth-best in the league in terms of yards per game in the regular season. 

PHIL PERRY’S PROTOTYPICAL PATRIOTS DRAFT PREVIEW

There’s not a whole heck of a lot of room for improvement, and most of last year’s group is back for another run. With a major upgrade sprinkled in.

The quarterbacks and the starting offensive line seem set to return. The tight ends lost Martellus Bennett but added Dwayne Allen via trade. The running backs lost LeGarrette Blount but added Rex Burkhead and are primed to add Mike Gillislee. The receivers lost Michael Floyd but picked up one of the most explosive receivers in the league with the addition of Brandin Cooks.

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England Patriots tidied up two bits of housekeeping on Monday by announcing the signings of defensive tackle Alan Branch and restricted free-agent offensive tackle Cameron Fleming.

Both moves were previously reported and had yet to be finalized mainly because of logistics, which leaves just a few more things of note on the team’s to-do list before the start of the voluntary offseason program on Monday.

Come to a resolution on Malcolm Butler‘s status. April 21 is the deadline for teams to sign restricted free agents to an offer sheet, and with Butler unlikely to receive an offer sheet, the next question would be when he’ll sign his $3.91 million tender offer. A player can’t be traded unless he’s under contract, so that option isn’t in play for the Patriots until Butler signs the tender.

More clarity with running back LeGarrette Blount. Whether Blount re-signs with the team shouldn’t affect whether the team drafts a running back; the Patriots are projected to be in that draft mix regardless. The feeling from here is that Blount would be wise to have his situation locked up in New England by the start of the voluntary offseason program, as being there from Day 1 would give him the best chance to beat out a highly touted rookie for the top job.

Assign jersey numbers. Still nothing official for newcomers Dwayne Allen, Rex Burkhead, Brandin Cooks, Kony Ealy, Stephon Gilmore and Lawrence Guy.

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