LeGarrette Blount’s signing is a reminder to be patient in free agency
Many NFL teams should take note of what the Eagles did in relation to LeGarrette Blount’s signing.
It took some time this off-season, but the Philadelphia Eagles have finally solidified their backfield with the signing of running back LeGarrette Blount. On Wednesday, the Eagles signed the six-foot-one, 250-pound ball carrier to a one year contract that is worth up to $2.8 million. Blount is coming off his best season with the New England Patriots. He led the NFL with 18 rushing touchdowns. He also rushed for a career high 1161 yards in 2016. As you’re well aware, he was a key component in the Patriots’ Super Bowl victory.
Considering Blount’s success last season, one could only wonder, why did it take so long for him to land somewhere? Free agency, especially at the running back position, can be very tricky. Most teams have their reservations about running backs who are entering free agency, especially the ones who are aging. They tend to have a short shelf life in the NFL. Teams also feel they could get one in the draft that comes with a less-expensive price tag. Blount found this out the hard way. He had to wait over two months to find a new home.
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According to Spotrac, Blount had a projected market value of a three year, $13,168,559 contract, making close to $4.3 million per year. Unfortunately for him, many teams didn’t feel it was necessary for them to dish out that kind of money.
Blount isn’t the only running back who had to wait on a call or didn’t get what was considered to be his projected market value. Former NFL MVP Adrian Peterson signed a two-year contract with the New Orleans Saints worth $7 million. Peterson’s projected market value was a three year, $13,710,874 contract, making close to $4.5 million per year.
What tends to happen with free agent running backs is they’ll test the market to see what teams are willing to pay them. When teams refuse to pay these players what they want, players negotiate and typically see their price tag drop. Once that happens, teams are more inclined to listen to agents. Blount’s situation is no different. He’s getting less money than he was originally projected to make.
The patience the Eagles have shown should serve as a a lesson to the rest of the NFL. Available free agents such as DeAngelo Williams and Rashad Jennings should take note. Teams are looking to get decent talent at reasonable prices. The days of overpaying for aging running backs may be over.