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Patriots free agent RB LeGarrette Blount draws interest from the New York Giants

According to Ian Rapoport, the Patriots' free agent is looking to the NFC East to potentially find a new home.

In 2016, LeGarrette Blount was one of the biggest bargains in the NFL. Playing on a one-year, $1.0 million deal, Blount carried the football 299 times for 1,161 yards and 18 touchdowns. His 18 scores led the league and established a new New England Patriots franchise record.

Yet, after the conclusion of his contract, Blount garnered little interest on the free agency market. While he reportedly has a contract proposal from the Patriots on the table, he did not opt to sign it yet. The team did not wait for him to do so, however, and instead invested in free agents Rex Burkhead and Mike Gillislee.

While there is still a theoretical chance that Blount could return to New England, it appears more likely that he will play somewhere else in 2017. And according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, that somewhere else might be New York:

The next running back domino to watch: LeGarrette Blount and the #Giants. There is mutual interest there. A potential match before the draft

Blount would not be the first Patriots running back to join the Giants as an unrestricted free agent. Following the 2014 season, Shane Vereen signed a three-year, $12.5 million contract – which has been resturctured earlier this offseason – with New York. Vereen has been a teammate of Blount for two years before leaving the Patriots following the team’s Super Bowl XLIX victory.

In case the interest Giants’ interest in Blount turns into an actual contract offer, it would not be a surprise to see the 30-year old leave New England. The Patriots would then not only lose their primary workhorse running back of the last four seasons but also a team leader. While Blount’s on-field production might likely be replaced by a committee of Gillislee, Burkhead together with Dion Lewis and James White, it remains to be seen if or how much the latter might be missed.