Blount will earn $50,000 if he reports to training camp weighing 240-245 pounds, ESPN.com's Field Yates reports.
Blount is listed at 250 pounds and has enjoyed plenty of success while playing in that range, but the Eagles apparently want him to slim down, perhaps sacrificing a bit of power for additional quickness. He'd still be one of the two or three heaviest tailbacks in the league, and it's unlikely the minor weight loss would significantly change the nature of his game. He had 299 carries and only seven receptions last season for the Patriots, leading the league in rushing attempts inside the 5-yard line and inside the 10-yard line. While unlikely to get that kind of volume this season, Blount figures to enter training camp in a similar role as the Eagles' early down thumper and regular goal-line/short-yardage back. Darren Sproles and Donnel Pumphrey are two of the smallest running backs in the league, while 2016 fifth-round selection Wendell Smallwood is listed at 5-foot-10, 208 pounds. All three are candidates to cut into Blount's workload, but none is a major threat to the core aspect of his presumed role.
The 2016 Eagles had a rookie quarterback from a non-FBS school, an above-average defense and a poor group of pass catchers -- a trio that typically would beg for a run-heavy approach. Of course, the backfield wasn't all that much better than the receiving group, which led to a middle-of-the-pack ranking in pass-play percentage (16th, 59.4). The team's transactions during the free agency period and draft hinted at the possibility of a pass percentage above 60.0 in 2017, but the mid-May addition of Blount on a one-year, $1.25 million contract suggests the Eagles do still aspire toward some degree of balance. While he presumably won't have the opportunity to match last season's 299 carries, Blount projects as the primary early down runner and top goal-line option in what should be an improved offense. Once Ryan Mathews (neck) is released, Blount will be the team's only running back heavier than 210 pounds with any significant NFL experience.
Blount was absent from practice Tuesday due to a family obligation, Zach Berman of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Blount was signed by the Eagles two weeks ago on a one-year, $2.8 million contract, and while the time away from his new team surely isn't ideal, the tailback is expected to have plenty of opportunities to prove he can be a lead back in Philadelphia. Blount is coming off a season when he rushed for a league-high 18 touchdowns and career-high 1,161 yards with the Patriots in 2016.
Blount, who rushed for a league-best 18 touchdowns in 2016 with the Patriots, will provide the Eagles backfield with much-needed physicality on early downs and in short-yardage situations. His signing doesn't bode well for Ryan Mathews' (neck) future in Philadelphia, since Mathews had already been expected to be released this offseason. Darren Sproles is slated to fill his usual role as a receiving back, while Wendell Smallwood (knee) and fourth-rounder Donnel Pumphrey also figure to factor into the backfield mix behind Blount. The 30-year-old recorded career highs in rushing attempts, rushing yards and touchdowns last season, proving there's still plenty of juice left in the tank.
Blount received a free-agent tender from the Patriots on Wednesday, Jeff Howe of The Boston Herald reports.
In extending Blount the $1.1 million tender, the Patriots are able to protect the compensatory selection they would receive if he were to sign with another team. If he remains unsigned once training camp begins, Blount will only be able to negotiate with the Patriots.
|P1||8/10/17||@ GB||8:00 pm|
|P4||8/31/17||@ NYJ||7:00 pm|
|1||9/10/17||@ WAS||1:00 pm|
|2||9/17/17||@ KC||1:00 pm|
|4||10/1/17||@ LAC||4:05 pm|
|6||10/12/17||@ CAR||8:25 pm|
|Bye: Week 10|
|11||11/19/17||@ DAL||8:30 pm|
|13||12/3/17||@ SEA||8:30 pm|
|14||12/10/17||@ LAR||4:25 pm|
|15||12/17/17||@ NYG||1:00 pm|
|2010||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||13||7||201||1007||5.0||53||6||10||38|
|2011||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||14||14||184||781||4.2||54||5||4||32|
|2012||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||13||0||41||151||3.7||35||2||1||7|
|2013||New England Patriots||16||7||153||772||5.0||47||7||5||35|
|2014||New England Patriots||5||1||60||281||4.7||34||3||4||14|
|2015||New England Patriots||12||6||165||703||4.3||38||6||4||37|
|2016||New England Patriots||16||8||299||1161||3.9||44||18||7||67|
|2010||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||13||7||5||14||2.8||7||0||0||0||0|
|2011||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||14||14||15||148||9.9||35||0||2||0||6|
|2012||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||13||0||1||2||2.0||2||0||0||0||0|
|2013||New England Patriots||16||7||2||38||19.0||32||0||1||0||1|
|2014||New England Patriots||5||1||4||18||4.5||11||0||0||0||1|
|2015||New England Patriots||12||6||6||43||7.2||14||1||0||0||3|
|2016||New England Patriots||16||8||7||38||5.4||16||0||0||0||1|
|2010||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||13||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2011||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||14||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2012||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||13||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2013||New England Patriots||16||17||494||29.1||83||0||2|
|2014||New England Patriots||5||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2015||New England Patriots||12||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2016||New England Patriots||16||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2010||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||13||1||1.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2011||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||14||2||2.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2012||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||13||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2013||New England Patriots||16||1||1.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2014||New England Patriots||5||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2015||New England Patriots||12||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2016||New England Patriots||16||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2010||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||13||4||3||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2011||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||14||5||3||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2012||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||13||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2013||New England Patriots||16||3||2||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2014||New England Patriots||5||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2015||New England Patriots||12||1||0||0||1||0||0||1||0|
|2016||New England Patriots||16||2||1||0||0||0||0||0||0|