Although we are just a mere month removed from the Seattle Seahawks ’win over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII, the NFL universe is looking ahead to what the future has in store for the 2014 season. With the draft over a month away, GMs and front office folk have their attention focused on free agency, and no player’s situation is as unique as 2013 New England Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount.
Blount was traded to New England in late April in a move that was highly ignored, but was possibly a season saver for the Patriots considering all the players they lost on offense throughout the season. Although he did not see an overwhelming amount of action throughout the majority of the regular season, he was adequate in the role he was used.
This role would change as head coach Bill Belichick grew frustrated with Stevan Ridley‘s prowess for mistakes and Shane Vereen‘s inability to do much of anything other than catch passes out of the backfield. New England was desperate for a punishing back who could help eat up some clock and keep Tom Brady and the Patriots offense on the field. Belichick turned to Blount, who had also done a decent job returning kicks, and he took advantage of the opportunity.
Week 16 vs. the Baltimore Ravens would foreshadow what was quite an impressive month of performances for the bruising back, and he went on to have his most impressive game of the season in the Patriots’ divisional round matchup against the Indianapolis Colts. In that contest, he carried the ball 24 times for 166 yards and a season-high four touchdowns.
Although he was completely shut down by the Denver Broncos in the AFC Championship game a week later, Blount helped save the Patriots season. The team that was devastated by injury highly overachieved getting to the AFC title game in the first place.
It should end up quite an interesting storyline to follow this off season to see where exactly Blount will land. Reports indicate that the Patriots and Blount have mutual interest in keeping him in Foxboro, but expecting him to consider offers from other teams is far from out of the question.
Blount’s value is hurt by his inability to produce in the passing game, but he could end up a great option for a team with a back like Darren Sproles, who is more prone to catch passes, similar to Vereen in New England.
A reunion in New England is the most likely scenario to anticipate, which I believe will make him an ideal RB2 in fantasy football with a high floor of a flex spot considering he should get 15 carries per game in their system. And in my opinion, he is an even better value option on daily fantasy sites, especially early on in the season prior to his price increasing.
At only 27-years old, Blount has plenty left in the tank and still has something to prove. Last season was as close to his impressive rookie campaign as he has come in the NFL, and similar production will also lead to a higher salary.