On Wednesday, the Eagles were the talk of the league once again as they filled the hole at the running back position by signing LeGarrette Blount, a move that many fans have been calling for since before the draft. Blount who is 6’1, 245 pounds is the power running back that the Eagles desperately needed. This signing more than likely signals the end for Ryan Matthews in Philadelphia, and he will be released as soon as he is deemed healthy.
At 30 years old, last season with the super bowl champion New England Patriots, Blount had 299 carries, for 1,161 yards, and 18 touchdowns. His 18 rushing touchdowns, not only led the NFL last season, but were the most in a season since 2009. The painful side of that stat is the whole Eagles roster only had 16 rushing touchdowns all of last season, so Blount is bringing an aspect the Birds lacked significantly last year.
One concern some people may have about Blount is how much he has struggled when playing on teams not named the New England Patriots. In 2014 with the Steelers, Blount was released before the season was over because he was becoming a locker room issue. One other concern is even though Blount put up outstanding numbers last season, he did endure a huge workload. At 3o years old, only time will tell if this workload will effect his future production.
Upon Blount signing with the Eagles, he becomes the most accomplished running back in the room. He will more then likely split carries with Darren Sproles and Wendell Smallwood in the backfield bringing a more physical style compared to the other two. Rookie running back Donnel Pumphrey, will most likely take more of his snaps from the slot lined up as a wide receiver, rather than in the backfield as a running back. The Blount signing definitely hurts rookie free agent Corey Clement’s chance at making the roster as he carries a similar style of running, but with obvious much less experience and success in the NFL.
With the Blount signing, Howie Roseman and the Eagles have definitely added competition to the running back position this offseason. In a statement released from the team Roseman said, “LeGarrette Blount is a tough, physical runner who has enjoyed a great deal of success in New England and we are excited about adding him to this football team. We feel good about the depth and competition that we have created at the running back position and we are looking forward to getting the guys out on the field next week for OTAs.”
All of the new Eagles will be on the field in uniform on Tuesday, as full team OTA’s begin.