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Patriots preparing for RB LeGarrette Blount to sign somewhere else

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The Patriots are setting up for life after Blount.

New England Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount is coming off a career season where he led the NFL in rushing touchdowns at age-30. Blount is also a free agent looking to cash in on that success- and might cash in above the Patriots pay grade.

Yahoo! Sports’ Charles Robinson reports that the Patriots “believe someone is going to make [Blount] an offer they won’t match” and that New England is preparing for life after Blount.

The Patriots have used Blount as a goal line running back and as a fourth-quarter clock killer, but those skills are in high demand. A running back-needy team like the Detroit Lions with general manager and former Patriots exec Bob Quinn could offer Blount a contract beyond what the Patriots have set aside for Blount.

So what’s next?

The Patriots will probably let Blount shop around for deals and see if the back remains within price range. If not, the team will move on and focus on a draft deep with big, bruising backs. Players like Toledo’s Kareem Hunt or Texas’ D’Onta Foreman could be perfect hammer-back replacements found in the third or fourth rounds- and both are players that have met with the Patriots at the NFL Combine.