The 2013 season ended in defeat for the New England Patriots, and now the team will be evaluating their roster as the draft and free agency are quickly approaching. Over the course of the next few weeks, PatsPulpit will take a look at each key player and review their performance, as well as their role on the Patriots moving forward.
Continuing the series, let's take a look at running back LeGarrette Blount.
LeGarrette Blount, RB
Remember when some fans wanted to see Tim Tebow kept on the roster before LeGarrette Blount? And then there were those who kept criticizing his play, even after Blount started having mild success early in the year.
Ah, those were the days.
But let's be honest with each other: Did anyone really expect Blount to put up this type of season? No, and you're lying if you say otherwise.
Blount ran for a ruthless 772 yards, and even set a team record with four rushing touchdowns in the AFC Divisional playoff game against the Colts. Blount, who has a misleading reputation as a downhill runner, showed that he was more than that, displaying versatility with the ability to cut and break runs on the outside.
LeGarrette did have some issues with fumbles, with three on the season (two lost), but he was reliable for the most part. Part of that trust showed in that the team designated him as the kick returner -- one of the largest in NFL history. Surprisingly, he did quite well, averaging 29.1 yards on 17 attempts.
With New England, Blount managed to revitalize his career in an important contract season. He'll now enter free agency and draw interest from various teams as he looks to cash in on his success. And he deserves it, as he was an integral part to the Patriots' accomplishments this year.
I'd expect to see the Patriots make an offer to Blount, but with three younger backs -- Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, and Brandon Bolden -- all on the roster, I've got a feeling that he'll be out of New England's price range.