The New England Patriots and free-agent running back LeGarrette Blount remain on different pages in contract negotiations, according to a report from NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.
“It doesn’t sound like the Patriots have moved at all from their original offer, given a little less than a month ago when free agency started,” Rapoport said Monday morning on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football.” “They like LeGarrette Blount. They have strong feelings for him. He actually wants to return, as well.”
However, they only want him back for the right price. And since Blount has not garnered much interest from other teams, the Patriots haven’t had much motivation to offer him a more lucrative deal.
Rapoport also noted Blount might not be willing to play for less than Rex Burkhead will make this season. The Patriots signed Burkhead to a one-year, $3.15 million contract last month, marking the first time since 2010 a New England running back has had a salary cap hit north of $2 million.
Blount, meanwhile, had a cap hit of just $1.025 million in 2016 before becoming an unrestricted free agent last month.
“The Patriots really have not upped their offer because at this point LeGarrette Blount does not have a competing offer, has not yet been able to take a visit with another team, which might spur the Patriots to increase the amount of money they’re willing to give him,” Rapoport said.
“What LeGarrette Blount needs now is a little bit of leverage to get the Patriots to pay a little bit more than they originally offered. Because otherwise it just doesn’t seem like he’s thrilled to come back and make less than, say, Rex Burkhead is making for the Patriots.”
Blount carried the ball 299 times for 1,161 yards and an NFL-best 18 touchdowns this past season, setting career highs in all three categories.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images