The New England Patriots might be preparing for life after LeGarrette Blount.
Blount is set to become an unrestricted free agent this Thursday, and according to Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports, there’s a strong belief among Patriots higher-ups that the bruising running back will end up signing elsewhere.
Blount, who turned 30 in December, is coming off the best season of his career, posting team and career highs in carries (299), rushing yards (1,161) and rushing touchdowns (an NFL-best 18) for a Patriots team that won Super Bowl LI. He also played under a very affordable contract, earning just $760,000 in salary in 2016, according to Spotrac.
Blount said earlier this offseason he hopes to re-sign with New England, but if he leaves, expect the Patriots to bring in another back with a similar skill set, either through the NFL draft or in free agency. Dion Lewis, James White and D.J. Foster all are quicker and better at catching the ball out of the backfield but lack Blount’s size and brute strength.
Free agency opens Thursday at 4 p.m. ET.
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