Emotions are still high for New England Patriots fans as the season ended just a few days ago. Most of them are probably still in love with LaGarrette Blount who is set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Although Blount was the best runner in the running back group, he must be allowed to sign elsewhere.
Given Blount’s age (27) and return to relevance, it is safe to say that the running back will want a big contract. He is just entering his prime and is one of those rare power running backs that are still left in the NFL. Blount’s tackle-breaking ability is among the best in the league, and that will likely be one of his agent’s points in contract negotiations.
But Nick Caserio has too much depth at the running back position to worry about Blount. Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen and even Brandon Bolden are expected to be back in the fold next season. Ridley has struggled with fumbles, but he is young and has shown bell-cow abilities in the past. Vereen has battled various injuries, but he has the potential to be an elite pass-catching running back. Bolden can serve as a short-yardage, clock-killing running back (the role that Blount was expected to fill before the 2013 regular season started).
Plus Caserio has other, more important unrestricted free agents to worry about. The first (and most important) is Aqib Talib who is widely expected to take up some room on the Patriots’ salary cap. Then there is the Julian Edelman/Danny Amendola debate, as Caserio must decide to keep one or the other.
So Blount will unfortunately have to fall out of Caserio’s plans. Blount’s work this past season will not be forgotten, but there are simply other important areas that have to be addressed.
Philip Alexander is a New England Patriots writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @steely0906, “like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.