After hosting several veteran running backs it appears the Detroit Lions have finally made their choice. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Lions are signing LeGarrette Blount to a one-year deal worth $4.5 million:
The #Lions are signing FA RB LeGarrette Blount to a 1-year deal worth $4.5M, source said. He’s back with Matt Patricia, as the New England ties are strong.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 17, 2018
UPDATE: The Lions made it official on Friday night:
We obviously don’t know the breakdown of that contract yet, and there’s a good chance it’s an incentive-laden deal, but that is still a pretty high number for the 31-year-old back. For comparison’s sake, the Philadelphia Eagles signed him to a one-year, $1.25 million deal last season. He ended up rushing the ball 173 times for 766 yards (4.4 YPC) and two touchdowns in 2017.
In Detroit, Blount immediately jumps to the top of the depth chart. Though the Lions are expected to draft a running back in next month’s draft, Blount will undoubtedly have a significant role with the offense considering the high contract.
This move puts into question the future of Ameer Abdullah, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract and has yet to live up to expectations. Abdullah isn’t a likely cap casualty, seeing as he only counts $1.3 million against the salary cap this year, but his role will likely be significantly diminished.
UPDATE #2: Blount’s deal is actually much more tolerable for the Lions.
Blount's deal is $2M with ability to earn $2.5M more in incentives.— Justin Rogers (@Justin_Rogers) March 17, 2018