After their Super Bowl LI victory, the New England Patriots have had multiple core players enter unrestricted free agency. The team's defensive captain was on the list, as were top options at fullback, defensive tackle and free safety. Another player set to hit the open market was the Patriots' number one running back from the last four seasons: LeGarrette Blount.
Coming off the best year of his career, one during which he had 299 carries for 1,161 and 18 touchdowns, Blount remained on the open market until May. At that point, New England opted to place a seldom-used tender sheet on him. The tender was a one-year, $1.1 million contract that would help protect New England's compensatory pick in case he signed with another team.
At that point, New England had already moved in another direction, though, and signed restricted free agent Mike Gillislee away from the Buffalo Bills. Consequently, it was no surprise to see Blount leave the Patriots and sign a contract with the Philadelphia Eagles – a team for which he has looked very good so far this season.
Through his first six games with the team, the veteran has carried the football 70 times for 390 yards – for an average of 5.6 yards per run – as well as one score. The stats properly reflect Blount's impact as he has been a very good skill position player for the Eagles; one that has been able to break tackles and show considerable burst in a limited role.
Gillislee, meanwhile, has also looked good for New England. However, his numbers are not quite as impressive as his predecessor's: The first-year Patriot has carried the football 69 times but gained “only” 246 yards for an 3.6 average. Gillislee has Blount beat when it comes to scoring touchdowns, though, as he has found the end zone four times.
With all that in mind: Do you think the Patriots have made the right decision to let Blount leave? Or should they have made more of an effort to keep him?
Should the Patriots have kept LeGarrette Blount?
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